Saturday, November 29, 2014

Ancestral Seas and Finding Ground

This Thanksgiving is one I will not soon forget, as it was book-ended by Death.. The day before I learned that my friend, mentor, and Green Muse, Wes Nations, a.k.a. Johnny Vagabond, had died due to complications from liver disease. Learning form my Grandmothers passing, I cried this out instead of holding it in. There is still much to process, but only time can heal, now. The harder death was to come the day after thanksgiving. Our cat, Elvira, sweet guardian of our front porch, was attacked and killed by a stray dog. Wes's passing was hard and unexpected, my cat's violent and brutal, many thanks I have been giving for this fragile gift of life. At this point in the year, after so many passings I have come to a place of acceptance with it all, after all isn't death just another Faceless God? I feel more determined than ever to continue planting my seeds.

As I have mentioned before, Santisima Muerte told me to seek out Saint Cyprian. What I did not know was his connection to the ancestral seas. Conjure Man Ali, describes it pretty well at his blog, so follow this link for more details. During this Season of Letting Go, I have come to learn much about a life less ordinary, but never in my wildest dreams have I imagined such depths as I found within myself this year. Wisdom comes at a high price sometimes, and sometimes it drips from the heavens like honey rain, sometimes it does both. This is one of those times and my Bendicion de San Cipriano has been the bridge that holds it all together. My next step is to follow the ritual at Conjure Man Ali's site, I will report what happens. 

It all comes back to the Earth, the Primal Magic that is literally right beneath your feet.This dirt that we taken for granted, this mundane miracle of the everyday, sustains all life and death upon this rock we call home. From the remains of untold ancestors, we grow new life that one day will feed and sustain future generations of life. All through the dirt, the root of all sorcery, right there on the ground, the most powerful Materia Magica of Mother, her very flesh. What has more generative power? What else contains a bit of all that has been? What else is the foundation of all that is? There's even dirt at the bottom of the ocean.There it is, I have found ground again, and with it a renewed sense of  Dirt Sorcery and Ur-Sorcery.

Just how amazing is our day to day, this that is taken for granted.The everyday, the mundane is what sustains everything we do. So many days wasted, looking for that which is at hand, the Holy Land. Santa Terra, her face can only be seen from space, but you can know her simply by lying down upon the ground. I venerate her as a lover does the object of their affection. We have ongoing relationship, and as with any lover I choose to protect and nurture her, this is what it means to be Ecosexual.

I have sailed upon the Sea of Sorrow, through the treacherous Straits of Grief, to nearly drown in the(en)Gulf(ed) of Depression, but here at last I have found ground. With Granny Vagabond, I will plant my seeds, in the most primal Magic I know, Dirt. I will Give Voice to what I know and keep the knowledge alive. As my mentor, and dear friend, Wes Nations used to say about Entheogenic Plants, the more love you give now, the more love you'll receive later.This it seems is true of all things.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Breakdowns and Breakthroughs

About a week ago I crashed. I crashed hard, as if I fell thirty feet into an empty pool. This was just a precursor, the set up before the main act. In the depths of my fall, my wife, the most amazing intuitive healer I know, simply asked, "What do you need?" Without hesitation or thought applied I responded that I needed a shaman. She handed me a cigarette of tobacco and said, "This is shaman tobacco and it will heal you, because I say so." I smoked my first tobacco in many years and felt nauseous, sick, my head was spinning so hard I had to lie down. What happened next will change my life forever.
I awoke from a nap and I knew what had to happen. Into the bath I placed salt, damiana, and passion flower, everything seems to work better in threes. As I soaked in the bath I heard the words, "Audiam Vocem", speak out loud, give voice. This has been a recurring piece for me, but I had never really awakened to the power that resonates from the spoken word. Now I was talking to myself and all others who were in attendance, there were definitely spirits there, mostly ancestral, and then I broke down.

A wise man once told me that one must breakdown before they can breakthrough. On this morning I learned the full import of his words, I broke. I began talking to my Grandmother and I cried in a way that I have not cried in many years. I sobbed from the bottom of my soul for my loss, my shame, and my love. She is physically gone, never to return, no more hugs, her smell gone, LOSS. I did not visit her enough as an adult, and I cannot reverse that, SHAME. She will always be with me dispensing wisdom and guiding me, LOVE. Then my head cracked wide open.

I found myself in a quiet wisdom the likes of which I have never known. At that moment I knew the stomach issues have that plagued me since I found out she was departing, disappeared. I had been holding in so much it was making me sick. A bit of tobacco given to me with love and intention, shook me into Giving Voice to my inner turmoil and facilitated healing. Healed by Poison because of intention transforming it into Soul Medicine, the essence of the Poison Path, and all shamanic traditions worldwide.

Psychedelics and I have a long history, mostly as a vision questing tool, but this was shamanic healing, something I personally have never experienced. Strange because I have helped many others over the years, now I was being healed by an act of kindness, a medicine plant with intention and the power of speaking out. The closest experience I have to explain how profound this has all been is remembering how profoundly my first psychedelic experience was. That morning after when one knows that they will never look at the world the same way ever again. Like that but with a calm warm loving knowledge of how blessed I am to be here now.

Over the next few days so many wonderful things have been revealed to me, my path opens. I have much to say about the Plants and their medicine, but first I must plant my seeds. I have much to say about Santisima Muerte and San Cipriano, but first I must plant my seeds. There is a Magical Garden that will become my life's work, but first I must plant my seeds. I have begun a major recalibration of my energy and direction, soul sustenance that is manifesting all because of seeds that I have already planted.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Whispers from the Underworld

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.

Die Unterwelt

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. 

Planting Seeds

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.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Communion with the Ancestor Spirits

For now I will be brief and just post some hints of more to come. The work is still in progress and I must review my notes and make them more cohesive. I promise that within the week there will be more, and the return of Open Sourcery. For now I leave you with this.