Monthly Archives: September 2016

Moving On

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This is the introduction to my blog from the About tab:

Some years back, I blundered into a wonderful book called Monsters: An Investigator’s Guide to Magical Beings by John Michael Greer. For the first time, it occurred to me that all this esoteric material that I had been learning had a place in the paranormal and cryptozoological world of which I was so fond. Greer, who is a ceremonial magician in the Golden Dawn tradition, put forward the idea that, in order to really understand the “monsters” that people kept seeing and reporting, we needed to set aside our predominant Western materialist mind set and look at the world through the eyes of a magician.

So, that is what I will attempt to do in this blog – look at these sightings and stories that have interested me for so long through a different lens. My object in writing this blog is to make people think and to say to themselves “what if . . . “. I am not out to convert anyone or give them instruction on how to become masters of magic. I am simply going to take what I have learned over the course of the years and propose some ideas that I think may help to explain some of the “high strangeness” out there.

In the time that has passed since I wrote those words, I have done my best to follow through on that simple mission statement. I have presented magically aligned theories about a number of phenomenon and I have even presented information from my various spirit contacts about certain aspects of the paranormal and Fortean that I felt disturbed enough about to explore in more depth.  I have even given some psychic impressions of places where I have lived.  I have also never claimed, in all that time, that mine is the only or even the right explanation for a particular phenomenon.  As I say above, I have never sought to convert people to my way of thinking and, though I have had strong words for certain actions taken by people who pretend to be experts, I have, for the most part tried to keep an even keel in writing about this topic.  My strong words have come for those things that I have seen as patently dangerous.

 

Unfortunately for the sake of the blog, I am working hard at getting a writing career in fiction going in addition to my day job.  I have short stories coming out in anthologies this fall and winter and my book is tentatively scheduled for publication in November of 2017.  My time is extremely limited as I work a 40 hour week and put in hours at the keyboard drafting book 2 and beginning to think about book 3.  I know, from looking at the stats, that this blog gets a few visitors every week who rummage through the files and then move on to other things.  I find myself in a position where I have to prioritize my time and I simply can not continue to pour the time and effort that I have into researching and then writing several hundred words a week that I could be putting into my books or stories.

As I did when I took a hiatus a while back, I will leave the blog up for anyone interested in looking at the articles and I will respond to comments as I am able – so, if you have a question or want to know something more about a topic, drop a note in comments and I will see it and be happy to respond.  I want to thank the core group of people who appear to keep coming back to see what I have written.  Your support over the years has kept me going.  I hope that you will find other interesting places to continue your research.

 


A Great Graphic of the Spirit World

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This is a graphic that I spotted on Facebook the other day and could not resist grabbing for the blog; it is the work of Ian Corrigan, a long time member of the Druid order, ADF.  If you have not heard of him, I strongly encourage you to look him up; he will shake up any ideas you might have about what it means to be pagan.  I get compelled to put this up (despite Mr. Corrigan’s protest that it needs more work) because so many people seem to be confused by what spirits are what and where they reside.  This graphic takes the simple cosmological structure of an Upper World, Lower World and Middle World and orients the spiritual presences accordingly and leaves room for spirits that might not appear in this particular list.

Interestingly, I had a dream last night that transitioned into my waking state as my alarm went off.  I have paraphrased Orion Foxwood on a number of occasions – spirituality is discovering one’s place in the spirit world – but, in this dream, I was challenged to identify not only where I belonged but actually what I was.  It is easy for us to give the pat answer, “I am a human being”.  But, really, what is a human being?  What is it that makes us a separate tribe from, say, the Faery?  Why do we think we are so special (other than the brainwashing of the Abrahamic religions)?

Perhaps, if we spent more time looking at graphs like this and considering our place in the great scheme of things and less time justifying ourselves as superior beings who have dominion over this planet, we might find the solutions to a whole host of problems.


Opening the Way

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In my last blog, I talked about an episode that occurred back in 2012 when I gave a Fortean researcher some advice on how to open a way for possible manifestation of the Sasquatch phenomenon.  That person, even though they did not follow my instructions specifically, seemed to have some limited success.  I mentioned, too, that if I were giving a researcher such instructions now, I might do things differently.

Orion Foxwood, author of several interesting books on Faerie Seership, Southern Conjure and Traditional Witchcraft, defines spirituality (and I am paraphrasing slightly) as finding your place in the world of the spirits.  I have become more and more animist in my views as I get older; my world, when I pay attention, is a rich melange of spirits, ranging from the dead and ancestors to the spirits of place that might be called faery by some to spirits of animals and other Powers that I have been privileged to meet in my wanderings.

The other day, as I walked my dog on the nature trail behind my apartment, I detected movement and looked up in time to see a raptor unfurl its wings and take flight.  The bird soared from trees some distance from me to land on a bare branch about 20 feet over my head, then sat looking down at me with some interest.  I moved slowly until I was standing directly below this juvenile red tailed hawk and stood for a moment savoring the experience.  As my dog was restless to be on his way and do his business, I could not stay long but, as I walked away, I thanked the hawk for showing himself to me and asked that any lesson he wanted to teach me come to me in an obvious way.  I am still not sure what I was to glean from that meeting but I know from long experience that I will smack myself in the head in the next few weeks and say, “Oh! That is what Hawk was trying to tell me.”

If I were going to instruct that researcher today, my first step before discussing any sort of ritual would be to ask them who the crossroads figure or opener of the way is in their culture or belief.  Whether we are speaking of a being as obvious as Legba Atibon (whose veve is above) in the spiritual practices of Haitian Vodou or Hekate in the work of some pagans or Saint Peter in the beliefs of some Christians (the keeper of the keys to the kingdom and opener of the door to heaven), every culture had gods and spirits that serve to open the way into the spirit world and who must, in some sense, be passed if we are to work there.  So important is this function in Vodou, that no ritual or ceremony can begin without first offering a prayer and perhaps a cigar, rum,coffee or food to “Papa” Legba so that he will open the way to the world of the lwa (spirits).

Going a bit further afield, in spiritualist practice, which focuses heavily on communication with the dead, the medium is trained to contact and work with a spirit guide often known as a gatekeeper.  This guide’s job is to allow solid contacts with spirits that will be helpful the medium and to deflect ‘negative’ spirits away from the medium.  In essence, this being opens a safe path into the spirit world for the practitioner.  In neo-shamanic practice, this place is taken by a power animal who guides the practitioner in his or her journeys and, again, acts to keep the practitioner safe from spirits that might not be wholesome or which they are simply unprepared to deal with.

So, now, before providing any ritual structure, I would want a researcher who was interested in taking the step from observer to practitioner to cultivate a relationship with one of these way opening spirits.  Much would be dependent upon the soul of this new practitioner but I would always counsel them to begin with the spirits that they grew up with unless they (like me) simply could not abide that belief system.  In that case, things become trickier since the person will have to find a way opener that appeals to them and who is willing to work with them.  Just because one thinks that the Dark Rider at the Crossroads of conjure fame is a cool concept does not mean that the Dark Rider is particularly anxious to work with that person.  The person who wants to be a practitioner needs to patiently and respectfully experiment until he or she finds the way opener who will work with them.

The important thing to remember, when looking at any of these way opening spirits, is that your beliefs about them are irrelevant.  Thinking that you are protected because Hekate is simply a part of the collective unconscious is a recipe for having Her demonstrate to you how wrong you are.  Even if you have this belief, it is imperative that you act as if Hekate or whatever being you are trying to work with is a real and separate person and personality existing in a realm other than the one you normally live in.  Then, approach that being with respect (no need to grovel), ask if they would be willing to work with you in your endeavors and ask for a very clear sign of that willingness, one that you can not miss.  I guarantee that if you keep sincerely putting the energy out there, you will find what you are looking for (assuming that you are not a power tripping idiot looking to order spirits around like pawns on a chess board) and the relationship with this way opening spirit will take you to the crossroads where a whole new world will open up for you.

 

 

 


Desecration of Sacred Ground

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Standing Rock Sioux Tribe condemns destruction and desecration of burial grounds by Energy Transfer Partners

I can only think of a couple of times that I have felt moved to post a news item to the blog but this morning, as I made prayers to my ancestors, some of whom are First Nations people, I got a definite message to get this word out since the mainstream media coverage of this sickening event has been all but non-existent.  From what I have seen on social media, this is turning into one of the largest Native protests in decades and the corporation that is responsible of this pipeline has responded against the protestors with violence.

The link above is from the tribal website and focuses on the damage done to tribal burial grounds but also note the paragraph that says:

Thousands of people from across the United States have joined the Standing Rock Sioux to protest Energy Transfer Partners’ building of the 1,200-mile Dakota Access Pipeline. If built, a half-million barrels of crude oil would pass through the line daily.

This pipeline, amongst other things, represents a threat to the drinking water of the tribal people in its path.  Despite oil company protestations of safety, we have only to look at the record of environmental devastation wrought by oil spills to see that the Lakota people of Standing Rock have a very real concern.  These are only the spills we hear about – there are more, smaller spills that never reach the news but that could have a devastating impact on a group of people who are already amongst the poorest of the poor in the US.

Please read the above, do some research and spread this news so that more people will be alerted to another group trying, yet again, to take advantage of Native people.