18/11/14

The Anxiety of Belief

“…whoever is educated [by possibility] remains with anxiety; he does not permit himself to be deceived by its countless falsification and accurately remembers the past. Then the assaults of anxiety, even though they be terrifying, will not be such that he flees from them. For him, anxiety becomes a serving spirit that against its will leads him where he wishes to go.”
-          - Søren Kirkegaard

Belief always invites in anxiety, no matter how small it might be, because when we are speaking of belief we are addressing possibility and a security that knows only hooks of clouds, ideas and thoughts laden with securities. The presence of possibility calls us to the crossroad of a thousand worlds where choice and opportunity presents itself. Kirkegaard saw in this form of anxiety an existential dread, which he described as being known from the dizziness it ignited in the believer. The dizziness experienced in front of choices, the dizziness given unto us as we realize we have option, the dizziness that occurs when a spirit takes possession. It is all encoded in anxiety. Anxiety is noticed by unrest and distress of mind, just like an earthquake announces a shift in the well known permanence.

The anxiety of possibility opens up a field of creativity and discoveries by virtue of its sign, symbol and presence that shakes the permanence.  

Commonly we reflect and deflect this anxiety in opinion. An opinion is a statement, a temporary diagnostic of a world view and never ever a statement of truth, simply because a truth can never be stated in truth. Truth is far more fluid and complex than what we can find in statements and opinions.

Perhaps truth itself is veiled in the anxiety of possibilities, being this obscure maiden of veils hiding in the network of pathways that connects the world’s wells?

If so, this explains why belief so often opens for anxiety, because if truth is not a constant and belief is a child of possibilities, constants like history and identity starts to become flickering lights in a shadow dance upon the abyss we gaze upon and feel dizzy in the presence of. This abyss is the crossroad of possibilities where we can succumb for dream or accept the creative grist.

Belief is perhaps an abyss, which is why opinions and statements enter so easily. They are like hooks, nails and crooks, solid soles and a fast grip on what is solid for the mountain climber. But belief is not the wall of a mountain, belief is heart and air and no hooks can really turn belief solid as a mountain, because this is not what it is made from, because this would be like asking air to be earth and heart to be bone.

William Blake told that the man who is not able to change his opinion will breed lizards of the mind – it is a vital observation – because when I say ‘you are that’ and anxiety raises its head and give way for anger, resentment or acceptance – what does it matter what I say when it is your belief that is at stake?

No one can destroy your belief but yourself, but anxiety of this belief enters when you are still and present questions in soliloquy, and allow yourself to enter into the field acceptance and challenge share between then, the canvas of possibility framed in anxiety.
We all have a belief of what is true, what is good, how the world works and who we are. But as Heraclitus told, ‘we can never enter the same river twice’ because we are and live in a river of transformative fire.

If it is like this, the explanation that rests between cause and effect will always belong to the field of possibility, which is noticed by its anxiety, no matter how we experience it. Anxiety can be an arousal, a shutdown, a yes and a no.

To lose all fear is too loose anxiety, but how can we lose all fear?

I don’t know how to lose all fear, but I know that loss and gain both start with acceptance. If I tell you that you are beautiful and you feel ugly a field is opened up in this field and in this land of possibility rests anxiety as a gate for doubt and analysis.

This anxiety addresses opinions and opinions is a product of belief – and never truth, so If opinion where not an option and if you where but a shade of possibilities, dumb and mute, with no will or force to speak the turbulent silence in your soul, what would be your words to describe this anxiety, this emotional arousal?

As life goes on and we become experienced in life - opinions, truth and anxiety tend to become more and more playful – because we realize that nothing is static. Everything moves and is transformed, it be the atom or the compost making new connections constantly. We are a constant change and no opinion, no statement will ever knock truth into the table as a hammer does with a nail – and even this imagery is but a statement, proper for its situation. The hammer has little meaning when we are making a cake as little as the nail have a purpose when a book is written – save for its symbol and representation. Yet, a thing and its representation is indeed a symbol and not always the thing itself but what it represents.


If you believe you are what you are, anxiety awaits at every corner of your mind and every corner of the city. If your belief is a truth, this truism will be attacked constantly in the name of permanence. It is only in that moment when you stop running; when you stop reacting, that this anxiety finds a creative route towards bliss in impermanence and in our acceptance of the impermanence of being. Then life has become a river and we have become the flow, force and essence of the river of life.

Illustration: William Blake: Leviathan

09/10/14

Sorcerous Saints and Elevated Ancestors

Over the last months I have noticed an increase in resentments concerning the use of saints in sorcerous contexts and in particular within cults and faiths of African pedigree. A few people have written asking how Christian Saints and African faiths are at all compatible and some have written to tell that this Christian oppression of African faiths must cease as yet others of a more Satanic inclination have expressed a furious resentment with mentioning orixa and in particular Christian saints as being remotely related to Quimbanda in any form or way. It is my understanding that it is a field that invites confusion, so I hope this blog posting can make these matters more tangible and clear.

As detailed in Palo Mayombe in relation to Kimpa Vita (1684 -1706) and the rise of Antonianism in the African territory that was referred to as ‘Congo’, but designated at large Bantu and Ewe speaking people spread out south and north in Western Africa. The ‘Congos’ arrived to Brazil from Cabinda and counted people from Angola, Congo and other countries sharing linguistic and religious similarities.

We find in relation to Kimpa Vita and her movement  words like makungu and nkisi applied on saints and symbols of the Christian faith in the early days of the Christian mission. The word makungu were used to describe saints like St. Anthony, St. Benedict and Our Lady of the Rosary that were experienced to have a particular affinity with the African people. The word makungu means ‘elevated ancestor’. This means that the African view upon saints were motivated by the concept held about what enables a person upon death to become an ancestor that could take an active role in people’s lives. The word nkisi could also be used, which loosely means ‘a thing of power’, and was considered a vital and vibrant extension of Nzambi/God. This word would also be used to describe a saint like St. Anthony who was also given an African name ‘as nkisi’, in his case Cuye Lumbemba, with its variations, is known in Palo Brillumba to be the nkisi moving this saint.

Another phenomenon worthy of mentioning is the battle in Lepanto at the Ionian Sea in 1571 where the Portuguese occupants saw a victory over the Moorish people which they attributed to the protection of Our Lady of the Rosary which was at the time known as Our Lady of Victory. Her feast day is 7th of October and the fest day is attributed to the date of victory in this battle at Lepanto. She became a popular saint and her cult was early on installed in the district known as ‘Congo’. However, it seemed that this saint favoured the Africans more than the missionaries and occupants and so she became rapidly a saint seen as protecting the Africans. Countless stories in the 17th Century speak of her showing herself in epiphanies exclusively for Africans and in this way her cult spread out as an exclusively ‘Congolese’ cult. It was something about her legends and myths, to gain victory when confronted with impossible opposition that nurtured a kinship, and her benevolence towards the Africans that turned her into an ‘elevated ancestor’.  

Her cult arrived to Brazil in 1713 with the Congolese slaves that were sent to Ouro Preto, Minas Gerais. We find her here together with St. Benedict and St. Anthony as patrons for exclusively African fraternities completely dislocated from the Church save for its clerical blessing to exist. The records from the archbishopric of Ouro Preto 1745 states that the existence of these fraternities are maintained as a ways of keeping peace in the district, while the practice of the cult with dance, drums, gunpowder and possessions were seen as barbaric and savage, a heresy better left alone. This fraternity became even more important in 1747 when Ganga Zumba Galanga, a ‘Congolose’ king was installed as such in Ouro Preto under the name of King Chico. He gained rapidly his freedom and was given a portion of the mines to work for himself, making him a very wealthy king.

03/10/14

The Creative Process

This blog article is presented because I accepted the invitation from human rights expert Todd Landman, professor of Government and Academic Magician, to write a few words about the creative process and what motivates my writing. 

So here goes the answer to the questions given to me:




What are you working on?

I am actually in a phase where I have completed a major new work that should be announced in a few months This year has been quite rich with writings, both the mentioned book, but also several articles that has been and are yet to be published as well as the monograph on Obeah. I am currently allowing a couple of weeks of rest and recovery from the conclusions of these projects small and monumental before I will return to a novel I started on a couple of years back, which now appears to be ready to be written.

How does your work differ from others of its genre?

‘Occult books’ is a very narrow niche, but at the same time it invites in everything to make part of the concept you are working with. Fantasy, illusion, poetry, dream, folklore, fiction, documentary, biography, everything can be invited in. Given the wide access to various fields of knowledge an occult work can draw upon I think it is important to demonstrate discernment in what is invited into the work. An occult work is so readily open for a thousand digressions, that it is important to constantly remind yourself about what you are actually doing and be stringent. I think my work differ from the general occult production of literature in this stringent attention to what I am actually doing and try to be aware the temptation of digressions and at the same time to be true to the spirit of the book. For instance, Craft of the Untamed was a book originating from the idea that witchcraft is a poetic reality and hence poetic liberties was admitted. With a book like Palo Mayombe I wanted to present a maligned cult free from bias of judgment and opinion. Hence the book was worked in the difficult field of an academic involved with what he is writing about. I believe my adherence for critical theory was helpful in fleshing this book out. So, I think I might differ from other writers in this more academic and critical approach to the matter I am writing about. It might also help that I do not see myself as an ‘occultist’, but rather a mystic. I am interested in revealing, not obscuring, so my work so far would perhaps not be adequately defined as ‘occult’.       

Why do you write what you do?

I always liked to write, poetry, short stories, novels since I was very young, but when I started to study at the university I also discovered a fondness for the academic jargon of writing, its demand on sources and the way a discourse should be worked to actually contribute to the existing knowledge. Witchcraft, magic, spirituality intrigued me from an early age so it became a natural part of my writing exercises. I must also admit that I do have a fondness for sharing and so far my books about witchcraft, sorcery, Quimbanda, Palo Mayombe have been motivated by a desire to share and also I hope I have demonstrated that some academic scrutiny can be well applied even writing ‘occult books’, as long as you refrain from too much footnotes and referential discourse necessary in academic discourse. But I see my writings as regulated by phases, sure I have a few more books on topics occult and mystical I want to write, but I don’t see myself as limited to this genre.

How does your writing process work?

I write due to routine, the muse is for poetry, but the poet can take the muse to make his or her work whenever he wants, as long as there is a rhythm in the routine. The writing processes itself for me is about emptying my cup into the pages and then use time to build what I want to give shape, form and direction to  the excess of material and words I emptied out on my dish. So, it is fair to say that for me, the start of every project is a frenzy that gives way for a period of meticulous organization. Order is brought forth from Chaos. In the aftermath of the frenzy I make sure that I balance writing against leisure and physical labour. Physical labour is for me necessary contemplation, a way of working the other pole of the mental world of ideas and words and exercises them. After lengthy projects I always feel the need of digesting writing and to engage into totally different things, if possible completely alien avenues of adventure and experience. For me, after long times with Saturn and Mercury I find myself in need of indulging Venus for some time. It is about presence and dedication mediated by letting go and a desire for distance. Doing this I clean the slate in all ways, which ends with a reorganization of my workspace. This reorganization always involves tearing apart ‘the shrine of my mind’, which is a physical altar, which is always worked during the process of writing, it is in frenzy or under the thumb of Saturn and Mercury. It is about accepting that a work has been done and give room for the new, because every writer will after some time desire to change what has been done. I just make this desire impossible, both physically and mentally, tearing apart the process that generated the work.


This being done I can indulge into reading for pleasure, and not for research, and one of these readings of pleasure is committed by my friend Adam Nevill, celebrated writer of Horror, who I pass these four questions on to, in hope that my answers made sense, although if they made no sense it is of course equally fine.           

01/10/14

A World of Dew and Darkness

The World is beautiful and wonderful, if we allow it to be so. Too often we get distracted from the beauty and goodness the World is and have to offer. When this loss of perspective happens, we lose sight of the landscape and our horizon shrinks into black dots in a garden of infinite beauty. The recognition of these black dots is fine as is the recognition of whatever undesired event that happens during a day. But when these incidents of darkness become a focus of interests we entertain with fervent passion in such way that it steals our attention, we block out the world and we integrate a limited passionate landscape, hot and dark. As passionate beings we engage and entertain. In this field an offering of melancholy or a dish of sour grapes is something we accept in great appetite.

At the end of the day, if our world is bleak and black, riddled with sadness and regret, it is the world we created and invited in and not the world as it is. It is a world made from poison and stings that restricts goodness and induces a false sense of bravery. No one can be adored by everyone as little as any mouse can be venerated by every cat.

We do tend to focus on the negative, the assholes and the shitheads, the player in the corner that seeks an advantage over us and whatever angry looser that moves us in erratic ways. These forms of being tend to steal our attention – as is the nature of these forms of presences – but they also steal the attention from what is good in this world and forces us to give attention to what restricts goodness. And it is truly sad, because everyone we meet have their battles, and our kindness and wickedness can make their battle more bearable or more of a burden.  A verse in the corpus of Ifá, Òfúndí, says:

The teachings of Ifá were interpreted
For Ol’Orí Ògá (Owner of a Brave Consciousness)
They said that anyone who restricts
Goodness to the house
Will never obtain goodness outside the house
They said she should sacrifice
So that goodness might flow into the house

The verse is related to a story that speaks of a person who is guarding herself against intrusion and negativity, against attack and wickedness, which is good in itself, but she entered into a mode of protection that made her see even friends as antagonists.Her sacrifice was about acceptance, an acceptance of diversity and to give up taking whatever said or done as an act aimed at her.

The verse speaks about accepting that no one is perfect and that the black spots in creation holds a certain force to move what is good to come into the forefront of our awareness. We can only do this in a spirit of acceptance where we remove our brave or protective Self consciousness and invite in diversity and challenge. What we perceive as wicked, might be inspired by kindness and care, what we perceive as kindness might be rooted in fear and control. We can only discern what is what if we possess a clear and calm mind, any decision made when the mind is hot or in a mode of protection will rarely hit the nail on the head, because a hot consciousness is an affliction of the soul. 

When we find ourselves in these situations, where we feel cornered and accused, it is for the sake of wickedness or kindness, don’t lose focus on the unending beauty of being. Because beauty is the rainbow that embraces the heaven as it is the snake that offered wisdom to Eve in the Garden. To give in, to give up, to keep and to let it spill is always a choice. A choice that makes part of this beautiful journey we make in a beautiful and perfect world; a beautiful world where our choices seem to be the cause of the only imperfections we perceive.

Of course, we can choose to focus on the desperation and wickedness in the world, even the destruction of the world. It is important to be aware of these realities, but when the wicked and negative take your attention it also steals goodness from your life.  If we entertain cataclysm, fear, worry and negativity we become a part of this negativity and cataclysmic spirit of worry and fear.  In inviting in these forces we construct a world of darkness that contract and invite protection, thorns and spikes. Is it true that bad things happen in the world? Yes! But is this where your full attention should rest? It is about focus. Acknowledge the bad, give a nod to wickedness, but give your attention to what is good, because in doing this you will not entertain fear and disaster, but nurture love and companionship. 

The world we forge from fear and wickedness is not the World, but a shadow created by a given focus and attention given to what oppresses us and challenges us. Attention given to moldy details that steal the attention we should give to friends, lovers and powers of harmony, because the World was after all forged upon harmony and gentleness, as another Ifá verse, Òságúndá, says:

Dews pouring lightly, pouring lightly
Were used to create the world
And likewise was done to create the earth
So that goodness of togetherness could
come forth at once
Indeed all goodness took the form of a
Gathering together in harmony


18/08/14

Exu and His Work on the Soul

In order to start working with Quimbanda it is useful to make an effort to know your personal spirits and those spirits benign towards you. This knowledge is commonly revealed in a gira or session at the intervention of a Tata or Yaya that is already in connection with their guardian spirits able to see and discern the spirits that gravitates towards a given person.

It is my belief that these spirits seen by the Tata or Yaya during a consult, session or gira are spirits that was with the person in question from birth, that the Exus and Pomba Giras in their capacity of being guardians of places of power will also guard our soul as a place of power. These personal spirits do reflect in the mirror of the soul, hence one’s Exu and Pomba Gira is often referred to as a Tata and a Yaya, given the bond between  spirit guardians and the soul awaiting this knowledge.

We might see this as a way of understanding from where we are coming, as our personal spirits do reflect facets and aspects of us that we are aware of or try to hide. Nevertheless these qualities are with us and what we accept and deny as a part of us is still with us no matter denial or acceptance.  

What is often seen is the expectation of having some powerful badass Exu or Pomba Gira as ones personal patron. If expectation is met a new challenge present itself as much as having a spirit perceived as ‘inferior’ or ‘obscure’. No matter if you are a working class woman wanting a Queen in your life or you are a necromancer horny for Omolu or Meia Noite and realize that your Exu is something completely different, a soul search should start if the expectation is rewarded or punished. To have a Queen as your patron can be as challenging as having an Exu Pagão as your patron, the dynamic is always the same, to call you into awareness of who you are and where you are.  

When I gained knowledge of my personal spirits a profound increase in awareness of Self was caused and albeit with some initiate resistance I understood that this was myself teaching myself about mysteries important for my understanding of Self. It was strange times and the dreams were even stranger. A battle between confusion and understanding was instigated as I saw myself in my personal spirits in the form of a conglomerate of likes and dislikes. This went on for quite some time, until acceptance and understanding held hand with willingness.

Our personal Exu and Pomba Gira mirrors who we are in glasses darkly and brightly and we have a work to do there in a wide array of arenas. Some of us experience an immediate repulse of our personal spirit when it is revealed. This reaction just takes the pulse of our self awareness and addresses our lack of comprehension. For instance, if an Exu like Ganga/Mulambo is coming up in your session and you realize that this Exu is related to garbage, what people throws away.  You might enter into the entire garbage thing, which is a good spiritual exercise, but hopefully you will realize that a spirit like this is guarding a specific power that has to do with giving value and transforming this garbage into fertile soil. When these sentiments rises themselves and we enter into a field of negativism it is always because of a lack of understand and a failure in our appreciation and understanding.  Our personal spirits agrees with us and they challenge us, they serve as an awakening to realize who we are so we can understand Self and Fate better. So in concluding this analogy, Exu Ganga will enter your life question you if you are shit or if you have what takes to transform shit into something fertile and miraculously wonderful.

Then we have the spirits referred to as ‘working spirits’. They are not mirrors of who we are, but friendly spirits that do challenge us as our personal spirits do, but they are also spirits disposed to work for us no matter if it is good or bad for us. They are tricky friends, the kind of friend that never objects to your will and desire, but do what you want, no questions asked. But at some point you will ask the question and your working spirit will just say, ‘I did what you wanted’, and in this a different challenge is presented. These spirits are drawn to us by some sort of affinity, they are not mirrors of the soul, but variations of friends, and in this they remind us about the delicate order we find in the social world where friend meets friend and where a friend makes a foe as a foe makes a friend.

Spirit friends can be as deceptive as human friends. Sure they are turned towards making favours, but they give a social challenge and question how you deal with relations that gravitate towards you in following your wishes. Indeed they are tricky, but in their trickiness they also mirror how tricky you can be with your world and environment.  It is all about you, but in a different level, the social. You as the one you are, the one you think you are and the one you act out in the world are always so different that they meet...
Surely, Quimbanda is about Self awareness, but it is also about smartness and the failure of being smart. It is about the lesson of the street and tavern, the wrong card played in the face of five aces and what it teaches you, as much as realizing that a immature demand do tend to explode under your left big toe.  The working spirit is your true friend, the one that never question, but is ever willing to speak after you made a choice that just brought hurt. In giving a demand and reaping misfortune we often accuse the messenger – but this is only another form of self accusation.

Quimbanda is at root about becoming aware and assume responsibility. We have our mirrors and we have our friends, the personal spirits and the working spirits all have in common that they seek to challenge us to be the guardian of our soul and life, no matter what it takes... because they truly care, as genuine mirrors and true friends...


If you want a consult or products search for Sacred Alchemy Store, Wolf & Goat or House of Quimbanda 

17/08/14

The Poles of the Sphere

“I don’t want it, you don’t want it. Let us leave wickedness to walk alone”
-          
              - Ifá proverb


Opinions, they be informed or not, makes part of the human interaction and we tend to share these opinions in the shape of advices and counsel if it is warranted or called for or not. An opinion is little more than a conjecture, a judgment, a synthesis of what is observed leading to a form of belief. Hence an opinion should never be presented to state truth, but be presented in the spirit of sharing, to avoid the act of stating truisms. None of us owns the truth and the truth will always look cross-eyed to any interpretation of what it might be.

We have all witnessed the atheist argument against the believer’s belief in a God, the battle between creationism and evolution and the polemic presented against opposing points of views aiming towards affirming objective truths rooted in opinions. Opinions is not only a conjecture, it is also an expression of a point of view formed by an individual with a particular experience and history that causes this person to view the world from a given angle. In this way, opinion tends to be a form of solipsism and arrogance. Opinions and advices are often given in response to a disagreement, an activity that is in itself useful to achieve a Hegelian synthesis, but it is rarely presented to arrive to a widen landscape; rather it is often given to prove a point and the error of truth in an opinion.   

It is kind of fascinating to see how so many chooses to be occupied with what they disagree in and challenge this with an opinion.

Ideally an exchange of opinions takes the shape of a debate. A debate is the word we use to give a format to the exchange of opinions, so that quarrels and disagreements can be subject for a decent format of exchange, as is done in the defence for an academic dissertation. The dissertation is presented to peers that will judge you and challenge you – bound by rules of formal presentation and response that aims towards challenging the argument – and in this the argument stay solid or it dies. If the argument dies it can be due to holes and lack in the work done or because of diverging opinions between the candidate and the peers elected to judge. No matter, form and design, we do like to entertain the exchange of opinions and quite often it takes the form of a quarrel. The difference between a quarrel and a debate is its format and the prepositions that is laid as base for the exchange of opinions.   

We humans like to quarrel. We are quarrelsome specie and the quarrels are always about one of three dimensions, horizon, belief or duty and any quarrel is born from a conviction or a burden. The burden and the conviction can at times merge in falsity leading us to exercise our falsity to see how strong or weak it is. These phenomena’s happens all the time, in domestic and professional life. Promises are made, appointments are failed and defences are made in the wake of anticipated accusations. The factors present in a debate or an argument is present in your social interactions, your domestic and professional life.

It all goes down to a premise, request, promise or statement being met in acceptance from another party. Failure to honour the promise stated will eventually lead to a debate. If this debate is about your domestic, spiritual of professional life is quite irrelevant for your sphere of being. We all instinctively act in the same way; if challenged we enter into defence and the defence can be an attack or a submission. It still doesn’t matter, the fact that we act upon it is what matters. In the moment we act upon something, it be negative or positive, we become a part of it.
Some examples might make this more salient. Let’s say you are a person who has decided to end with all forms of superstitions. Yes, I know it is a grand mission to appoint, but nevertheless some people do engage themselves in being bothered with is not a part of their point of view. What happens in this field of accepted mission is that you will be occupied with superstition and make yourself a part of what you agitate against, because in wicked ways the thesis and the anti-thesis is what makes the sphere full in its acceptance of the poles that supports it. It is almost like there is an energy pure and simple that holds a movement towards what it searches and what challenges it in such way, that energetically speaking, if you agree or disagree doesn’t matter, your involvement does.   

Giordano Bruno when he spoke of magical bonds in his to little read treatise about ‘magical bonds’, he was emphasizing exactly the energy between points and its quality – as well as its polarity – to cause something to happen. It is about the quality of the energy invested in a thing and not the opinions that directs the energy. To cut to the chase, if you involve yourself in something you are a part of it, and the bond is fed by your direction and energy, not the quality of your opinions. Opinions do not hold any quality as such, they express convictions from within a personal world of experience, secret and hidden for all but the one that holds this world under its skin (and often for the one who possess this intimate world as well).

It is all about ‘feeding’ a current. Let us speak of ‘the cause’. The cause can be whatever is considered important in a society, it really doesn’t matter what it is, what matters is that it caught your interest and was judged worthy of energetic investment. It always starts with an act and the opinions and interpretations colouring the act, giving the act direction and purpose, often different from what it had as it became manifest. The quality given by the one stating the premise is not necessarily the message embedded in the premise stated, and that is fine, and even better if we become aware of this mundane magic that happens all the time.

You can never truly know the landscapes of my soul as little as I can know the towers and dark corners of your soul in the way you feel them and intend to communicate them.

When one person meets another we are in the field of mystery – and we can stay there in wonder and admiration – or we can judge and ask the debate. No matter what we do, if we do something or don’t do anything we are still a part of what we are within in the meeting with the other.

In the moment I see you and feel you and you do the same we share something, even if it was a microscopic second of a field of being, we shared something. I believe The Now happens all the time and all we can do is retrospection and retrospection is a form of contemplation and philosophical digestion of being. It is in this field we form opinions, an opinion is always rooted in a retrospective analysis, faulty or not, about an occurrence that then is chained one after the other in an attempt to make sense of what happened. But these explanations we give from our self to our self make part of a subjective world and not a shared reality, hence an opinion will always be a point of view presented on basis of some form of digestion of what has been experienced. This is very different from being in the Now.

To be in the Now is a good thing; because it invites wonder and not judgment, but even the wonder is participation, but a form of participation that generates distance and horizon. And in this a shared landscape where one world touches the other, before judgment and opinion happens, is opened up in a spirit of curious acceptance where one soul is turned towards another in interest.

The Now is difficult to stay in, because staying in the Now means to let go of making sense and shape opinions of everything that happens and just let it be. We are not so good in doing this. It is something we need to train and the best way of training this is to become aware of our reactions to what we experience.   

So in this field of becoming aware of our presence and what circuits we entertain in passing a judgment let us say you have been entertaining the beliefs of a conclave of votaries aimed towards a given ethos, doctrine and belief that you at some point feel is a lie to your soul.
At some point you decide it is in error, and what happens in this realization is that you can leave it or stay with it.


What usually happens in such equation is that the one feeling deceived will still be there feeding what is with a negative current, the energy that feeds what is from the negative pole is no different from the energy fed from the positive pole. If you exchange resentment with love or opposite doesn’t matter, what matters is the energetic intensity. It is all about direction, no matter the cause or debate, the quarrel or sodality; it is all about your investment, and not the direction of your investment. If you invest something, it is love or hatred you define yourself as a part of what you love or hate, so if you don’t want it, leave it to walk alone, so you don’t take the role of the cowherd, wicked or benign...

Illustration: Santiago Caruso

04/08/14

The Fools of Mercury: On initiation part V (final)

Initiation begun and broken, initiation done ineffective and initiation denied have one phenomenon in common, the rise of the Fools of Mercury. With this term I do have in mind the beginning of the arcana major of the tarot, known as the fool, as I have in mind the virtue of Mercury as a go between, bridge, linguist, falsifier and turncoat as much as his capacity of guiding the psychopomps and being the ruler of the intellect. We also know that Mercury tends to be “bad with bad and good with good” as stated by the astrologer William Lilly in his Christian Astrology. The air of the charlatans are readily available to embrace the ‘Fools of Mercury’, but before going to that direction let us take these matters step by step by step and start with an initiation being received and then broken.

Simplified we can say there are two factors that are in play; the personal and the collective. We need to address some varieties of this situation to illustrate the differences so we can arrive at the quintessence. Let us say you have been admitted to some Masonic Brotherhood. The criteria for entering is that you are a person in good standing, a good man who seeks to be better, and this intent is presented to a group of elders who will accept or deny your application. Let us say you are accepted and you take on initiation and becomes a Master Mason. After this you walk on into the Blue Lodge and at some point in your journey you decide it is enough. You generate doubts and seek answers and take your leave.

The way you leave is important, but so is the investment in the brotherhood you had until this day. For some pilgrims the realization of a different route emerging in a given journey turns into a rebellion towards what brought you to this crossroad of decision. We all heard the stories of people coming to the realization that the path they had been walking turned out to be a lie, it be Masonry, Scientology or Jehovah’s Witnesses.

And yes, I am lumping these denominations together as points on a triangle of extremes, because for the pilgrim the feeling tend to be the same no matter denomination that was falsified. The pilgrim seeks to strike down the ‘order’, ‘group’, whatever name give to the brotherhood in question because it was a misguider.

01/08/14

Out of Line: On initiation part IV

“if the medicine is bitter, know this bitterness holds the power of healing and when you are tempted to scapegoat don’t forget that you can always become the goat.
NdMF

So there you are, you have broken with your family, your order or esteemed group of fellow seekers of whatever pursuit. You have seen your masters falling and your link severed or you have been cast out and exiled from what you held dear and vital to your life.
If you find yourself in this situation you are always left with some soul search to do – and I really mean soul search – because I have not here in mind matters of classic abuse, it be of power, position of desire, in a twain stream. I have in mind the situation itself, void for these forms of disgrace. This usually invites the feeling of another form of abuse, emotional and/or spiritual. No matter the reasons, the Now should be in focus. I am speaking of the condition where you are ‘left out’, no matter the reason and what it causes in the one that was not accepted or the one that was renegade or he or she who left for some reason. I am addressing the feeling of ‘what now’.

Whenever this feeling arises, the causes for your exile being perceived as just or not, you are automatically invited to the crossroad of choice and your first choice is if this condition is of fire or of ice. Should you entertain or should you refrain? The answer is to allow the fire to melt the ice and allow the water dripping down patiently to be your guide. Stay in the crossroad as you see doors and windows closing and highways and tracks opening. See the world spinning around you and find your center.  Don’t turn opportunity into disgrace.
Accept the crossroad and accept that what was denied or accepted by you was not of your Fate and allow yourself peace of mind, so you can reflect.

We think the human psyche is immensely intricate and obscure, but usually it is not, we are actually a quite simple organism. It is our never-ending contemplation that generate complications, because the human psyche is really a faculty that receives and gives; the qualities come after contemplation of too many variables. So yes, the psyche or soul gets complicated in this simple premise where Self awareness should be the focus.

But Self is quiet and its tongue is often the Ego and the Ego being our active social presentation will of course protect the Self from hurt. In this field we find action, to do or not to do. And it is here so many pilgrims make a million wrong choices, namely to sustain the bond with what became taboo and forbidden and in incestuous ways keeping this broken bond to pulsate.

Fine, the feeling might be one of scorn and injustice, but these feelings are a part of the defence we make so the Self can remain still and quiet as the Ego is tempted to dress swords and arrows.

But please forget this armour. Self do not need weaponry or defence. It will always be and nurture itself by the fumes of experience.

So, if you find yourself in this condition instead of overburdening yourself in defence take a step back and place yourself in the north of your crossroad and analyse in truth and openness what happened to you.

If you are the odd man, or woman, out or the one out of line that saw exile and horizons closing and are seeking a scapegoat, in this very act of pointing fingers and announcing scapegoats you are also addressing your own lack of judgment - your own lack of discernment – and most of all your intense hubris and inflated ego.

Allow me to take an example. Let’s say you received a Sur Pwen in Vodou and you want more. Let us say that your Bo Houngan and Mambo tells you it is not needed, but yet you insist on getting your Asogwe and they tell you, this will not happen here. A battle between ambition and aspiration is entertained in reflection of what you need and who you are. They might have seen you for what you really are or they can be roadblocks. They can even have been charlatans and liars. It doesn’t matter; they are still waymarks that cast all this responsibility and contemplation in the lap of the pilgrim.

We are speaking of this entire field that embraces the host, it be about the one who invites or the one who is invited. We are speaking of the one who turns into a ghost, a friendly stranger, a guest or family. Either of these categories and more so, is determined by the one finding him or herself in the crossroad. Whenever you find yourself there it announces a new end and a new beginning. It is a call not to hold on to the past with anchors, but with hooks of memory and remembrance.

Pilgrims take too hard on the exile as they take too hard on the denial. The denial of entry, it be partly or full, the exile, being temporarily or forever, still speaks the same message; it addresses your station in the Now.

It is a difficult station, the Now, and even more difficult to find the stillness of Now. But this situation is about this Now and what we do with it.

What we see is that disappointment often takes charge. Disappointment is really about failing the goal, and if you realize it or if you are told that you failed it should not make much difference. It is anyway an error that is realized. Of course the ego is in more pain being addressed its error by someone else, but in the end it doesn’t matter.

Take a step back and try to gain a perspective, there are right turns and wrong turns in the image of truth, because truth is a state, not a condition related to facts. Truth is a mystery whispered that breathes on your heart and in turn speak with the divine. It is about knowing who you are, your Fate or Wyrd, and if you know who you are you will never defile those who brought you to your station, by grace or error, you will see the waymarks they made in your track and you will be grateful as you swallow your bitterness as yet another waymark that points you towards your North.

So if you are there and are broken from your lineage, what is your Now and what is your North?

Certainly to spit in your dish and curse who brought you to where you are will effectively voice a sorcerous break with what you once were a part of. And if you do this, all you have is the Now and your Self, with an Ego trying to defend what you hope to be. A lineage broken but adored from afar will always be bound to you in unique and mysterious ways. It will always take routes of renewed inspiration, where the anchor of steel releases marvels in its uprooting.

A broken lineage always leaves you broken and it is important to realize this fact as you remake yourself. But a broken lineage can still have left virtue within you that can serve as fertilizer for your growth. The demonstration of this virtue rests in a demonstration of you being able to hold it and avoid leaking essence, Self, Ego and virtue in all directions, but rather see the crossroad as a calling of Truth.


But in the end, if what is broken or of what you break, turns hostile the goat is at play and with this I mean ‘the goat’ in all senses, but in particular if the goat you blame is the goat of guilt or, if you are the goat that should be slaughtered next weekend.