When the Strange Things Come

One aspect of daily religious and occult practice I forgot is the kicking up of “strange.” It starts out small. One night, I got out of bed to grab a pair of socks and was hit by a shot of cold, so intense my whole body started shaking. HARD.  I dove back under the blankets so fast I barely remember crossing the room.

The small things quickly become more significant such as computer screens scrambling at the same time or phone alarms going off when they weren’t set. Strange, loud, noises that cause both you and your partner to look at each other in the way that says “I heard that. You heard that. Let’s pretend we didn’t. Black Mirror tonight? Awesome.”

Of course, I know this means it’s time for me to do some banishing and cleansing work but in a way, it feels good to have these occurrences, and these energies, in my home. The steady hum of the “other” permeates every room and provides tangible evidence of my work drawing the veil back and merging my world with that of the spiritual.

I think the coming of the strange is one of those little nuggets; a goal post if you will. You don’t want to chase this landmark, but when little things do begin to happen the knowledge of the expectation could provide a boost in the desire to continue the practice.

I have been instructed to maintain this blog, and as I’ve become serious about fulfilling this aspect of my initiation/service (I legitimately have no idea which path I am taking with this), I’ve come to realize this is more of a magical diary than anything else. A place for me to track my failures and successes.

By this weekend, the Strange Things will either be gone or at least occur a lot less frequently but to know they are here has been invigorating in its way.

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Magic Through Productivity

This will, more than likely, seem like one of those new year resolution posts. I don’t think I can prevent this. The fact that I touch this blog again after being away from months, after being instructed to tend to it, seems to add to the whole new year’s resolution vibe. Oh well. What can you do?

A few weeks before 2018 hit us like a slow-moving spray tanned train, I randomly stumbled across a video on the Kaizen method. Kaizen is a philosophy of continual improvement.  One way of using this technique is breaking up larger goals into smaller daily tasks that are relatively easy to accomplish and often encourage you to go beyond the regular work you’ve set.

The actual practice of magic can be a daunting task when every book and conversation lead to complex concepts and rituals requiring hours of discipline that often doesn’t exist, to begin with, or at least haven’t for a while.

So, the Kaizen approach, a small daily change to encourage sticking with a routine and building a permanent habit, could be;

“Perform Daily Ritual for 5 or so Minutes.”

The average person is either going to try to find, or construct, a ritual that only takes five minutes or even less but as time progresses, the sense of accomplishment means that eventually, the daily routine will extend for longer, or sometimes for shorter, but either way, it will happen every day. How do we achieve this?

I use the application Todoist to create daily checklists. As I clear each task, I earn points, and these points go toward calculating daily and weekly streaks. Another application, Get Sh*t Done, talks to you like a lazy, incompetent, asshole before calling you the most awesome person ever when you accomplish your tasks.

Okay, okay, so it’s gamification. Don’t look at me that way. I know it’s corporate cliché, but gamification can play a huge role in making an individual feel as if they are “winning,” and winning is encouraging while losing becomes a simple obstacle to “leveling up.”

Some of us, okay probably mostly me, need a little help getting organized and disciplined for our magical practice. Here’s hoping a small slice of my method may help someone else.

Unfinished Business and the Path of Brightening

Yesterday, I had one of the most powerful and disturbing dreams I have had in a very long time. It was dream wrapped in guilt and regret. It was a dream steeped in a deep darkness I had hidden away; even from myself. In my more recent practice, I have taken strides to perform ritual at least once per week; normally on Sundays. It is during this time that I will honor the elements and local spirits, my gods, and my ancestors.

But it seems this new work opened gates to these hidden secrets and it was in this dream that not only was I confronted with my past but in such an immersive way that I was rocked to my core upon awaking and immediately sought spiritual council. In my previous post I spoke of creating and paying off debts. But, in that context, it was about a chosen debt; a debt taken on for an objective. But there are also unasked for debts. There are debts that are taken on from past actions and can often be left unpaid because to confront admits not only our own sins in the shadows but to take full responsibility for them to lay them to rest.

In the path of brightening, of cleaning a slate and opening myself to all of the gods and spirits who surround and require my service, paying off this unspoken debt has now been brought to the forefront.

“You can go no further.”

I will now be planning a ritual to address the pain I caused another while also holding me accountable for the part I played in this pain. It will hurt. It will be uncomfortable. But this isn’t about me and perhaps this is also one of another lesson I will learn. Worship, service, the gods and spirits are not only “about me.”