Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Sea Change

There are times where everything seems very stable and life becomes a bit boring. Then there are times where everything seems to move at once, a tidal shift, a sea change. This for me is one of those times.



Cat Stevens sang, "The first cut is the deepest", but for me the final cut has been the deepest. This year, the Year of Knives has been a tumultuous one, Lots of shake ups, and shake downs, but thankfully I never got the shakes. Many an illusion has been shattered along the way and with each an enriched clarity that I would never forfeit.

It is an humbling experience to be cut down to size, to confront the self-aggrandizing inflation of one's own ego. The Year of Knives was initiated because of the twenty third hexagram of the I Ching, sometimes called "splitting apart" by western practitioners who have a bias towards Yang. In more eastern interpretations it is also known as "cutting through", this due to two factors that seem to evade the western mind. The first is as I mentioned earlier a bias towards Yang, in eastern thought neither Yin nor Yang is more important, in fact they are inseparable. The second is what I call the Western Success Model, which is really a "Success Trap."  Both of these ideas feed in to each other and can be a great impediment to growth.

The Western Mind by and large has been focused on a more is better mentality since the industrial revolution, sadly this is also true in Esoteric and Occult circles. I believe this may be what Crowley was referring to when he spoke of the Black Schools. Success has an inherent built in trap, to illustrate this I will take a journey in to the past. Paleolithic hunters used sites like Roche de Solutre in France to trap and kill large numbers of herd animals such as horses. The more successful the hunt the more babies that reached adulthood. The more the population grew, the more food that was needed to sustain it. Eventually the herds dwindled from over-hunting, among other factors, and agriculture became the successful way to grow a population. Through out time however the increasing success of agriculture has lead to a population that now uses resources at a rate roughly 25% faster than our waste can convert back into resources. This is a success trap, most people call it civilization. This mentality has lead to a fear of failure, or as I like to call it corrective balancing.

There is a tendency in the west to think of Yin as "bad", interestingly enough it is often associated with most of the things patriarchal power structures fear. Darkness, soft, femininity, cold etc., none of these is inherently bad only a balance to the things Yang represents. The schools of Occult thought that have dominated the Occidental world have placed far too much importance on domination of spirits, a solar ithyphallic perspective, and spiritual hierarchies. Yin is more representative of a relational leadership model, where consensus is reached through the building and maintaining of relationships. Happily this concept is gaining ground in the Western Occidental Esoteric Tradition. I believe this to be due to the influence of Shamanism, a resurgence of Animism, and the introduction of certain psychedelics, but that is the subject of a different article. The biggest fear of Yin in the west stems from the one of its most frightening aspects; crisis.

All crises give rise to initiation and vice versa. Unfortunately, when one is taught to fear setbacks and and upsets, when winning at all costs has become the dominant paradigm, crisis can be crippling. Some crisis are crippling in some aspects, like losing a leg. The extent to which one chooses to let said crisis keep them crippled however is personal choice. After losing a leg, one can simply lie down and give up, far too common unfortunately, or someone can learn to move about in a new way and discover new things.The only difference is choice.

So here I am at the end of my Year of Knives and I realize how much dross and hubris has been cut away. I have battled the urge to be overwhelmed by crisis and have instead chosen to seek initiation.The final cut is the deepest and one of the most significant in my life. A clean cut always cuts straight and leads to a separation, a delineation between what is useful and what has outlived its usefulness. The process has begun and I am letting go, yet another meaning of Hexagram 23. Speaking of that hexagram, when one does an I Ching reading there are lines that change thus yielding a second hexagram, this is to give you greater depth to your reading, unless there are no changing lines, in which case the reading is very clear. The only two lines that change din my divination were one and six so my secondary hexagram was 24; Returning.



My Grandmother always told me that to be successful, I should study people I admire and learn from their example. I have done this my whole life, starting with magicians and artists who's live seemed to mirror my ideas of the world. As I grew older this lead me to explore alternative cultures, alternate realities, and the world around me. Now that I am older and beginning to enter the autumn of my life, doing work that satisfies my soul and reflects my spiritual beliefs has become tantamount to who I am as a person. Following Granny's advise once more, I looked to the the people who had business that involved magical things. Talismanic Jewelers, Alchemical Perfumers and Incense Makers, Purveyors of Materia, and general Witchery, and I noticed that many of them had one thing in common, Jason Miller. So I decided to enroll in his Strategic Sorcery course after reading the book The Sorcerer's Secrets: Strategies in Practical Magick.

Just before enrolling in the Strategic Sorcery class I had a series of events that lead me to do a rather long and extended course of Earth workings and Underworld work. I will be completely honest I have not done many of the Homework exercises and I am way behind on my reading, but this is not because I don't value it. Quite the opposite in fact. I am taking my time to digest the work. I came into this course with thirty years of magical experience, so much of this is remedial. I work with different entities, but use a very similar approach. Where I have gained the most benefit is in what most would consider the mundane realm. The day to day magic that we take for granted. The lesson of crow, be aware of the magic that is always around you. The book Your Money or Your Life: 9 Steps to Transforming Your Relationship with Money and Achieving Financial Independence by Vicki Robin and Joe Dominguez, has brought profound changes in my life. Researching the vagus nerve and its effects on the parasympathetic nervous system has profoundly affected my depression and recovery from past traumas. Being authentic, becoming someone I love and respect, these are the gifts I have gained from Jason's course that will stay with me for the remainder of my life. By all means enchant away, but if you are relying on enchantment alone, you might as well be playing the lottery instead of investing in a retirement plan. I believe this is the case for two very strong reasons. First spirits don't seem to be interested in helping lazy people. Secondly everyday life is far more magical than most people seem to realize. As a sorcerer or witch or whatever you call yourself learning to tap into that energy will power everything you do. So grab a handful of dirt and talk to the spirits.


Just as I declared 2015 the Year of Knives and many cords were cut, I have settled upon the naming of 2016. This year is the Year of the Sacred Heart. The Sacred Heart has many christian implications due to the practice of Sacratissimi Cordis Iesu among Catholics, Anglicans and some Lutherans. When I use the term however, I mean something closer to a heart inflamed with spirit and bursting with an outpouring of love to the Holy Universe. 

My goal for the upcoming year is to live a more heartfelt experience, to follow the whispers of my soul, to let spirit engulf me and take me on the grand adventure. I spent the last year clearing out the hubris I built up in my own life. Of all the Knives I accumulated, unrelenting self honesty was the sharpest of all and with it I cut away self delusion and found the confidence and strength to accept myself. I may never be wealthy in the traditional material way our society dictates, and fame is not something I hunt after, but I do have a wealth of experiences that have given me insight into the true beauty and magic of Holy Universe. I am forever grateful for all the wonderful souls that have accompanied me along the way, I would have been lost long ago without them. For those among you who fell, consumed with pain and sadness, I will carry your torch to the end, your memory will not be forgotten.








I began writing this blog a few years ago as a way to give voice to all the things I kept bottled up inside. The decision was based on revelations I had during therapy after a suicide attempt in 2011, it has been a wonderful experience. So it is with some sadness and a heavy heart that I announce the end of this blog in its current form. I will continue with a new blog on Word Press. The reasons are many, but chief among them is the need to have my art for sale, my tarot services, and my blog all in one place. This blog will remain here as a testament to my growth and self exploration; a monument to reclaiming. In recent days one of my all time heroes, David Bowie has returned to the stars from which we all come. His passing has reminded me of several wonderful things; First, we are all Star People and we came here to blow each others minds, Secondly all things end and as sad as that is at first it only opens the way for more wonderful things to come, and Lastly we are all light. So turn on your love light and let it shine for the world to see. I will post a link to the new blog when it is up.











  1. Replies
    1. Thank you, my blog post will be less frequent but more thoughtful.