Sunday, August 28, 2011

Beyond the Fluff

I have a new article up on witchvox.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Martial Magick

I have been thinking about how my experiences with the martials arts has affected my magickal work and vice versa.  The karate school I trained in did not focus on the philosophy or the spiritual aspects of the way as much as they did on the mental and physical.  It was as if they didn't know what to say or just weren't spiritually minded people.  You were given titles of the classic books if you wanted to persue that aspect further.  We didn't meditate in the dojo though. 

On the other hand, I integrated much of the magickal lessons I had been struggling with while I was in the dojo.  Shadow boxing, learning perseverence in the face of not being able to control my body or quiet my mind.  These lessons that I needed for my magickal training I integrated during karate sessions. 

My husband came to the martial arts first in a much more traditional school.  Once he had experienced the Western way, he then switched over to discover what the Western world's magickal tradition was all about. 

We both use skills that we learned both in martial training as well as magickal training simultaneously now.  I don't think about where the stance, breathing technique, or energy manipulation technique was learned from.  How I use both Western and Eastern techniques are about the tools being used and the techniques.  This is similar to how shamanism techiques are utilized in Pagan practices for the most part as well. 

I will have to insert a caveat that I am not a "harm none" aka the Wiccan rede kinda gal.  The Thelemic tenent of "Do what thou Will be the whole of the law, Love under Will" works a lot better for me.  I believe in self defense and strength.  I don't believe in neutering myself magickally by tying my hands or my power or physically.  If my person, home, or family were threatened, you better believe I'd fight to protect them. Its also worth noting that the Wiccan tools were commonly called weapons in classic occult literature.  My lifestyle and martial philosophies have to fit with my magickal beliefs and practices as well.  I don't believe in the watering down of magick, ritual, and practice to make it more sanitized for the publishing industries or the masses. 
I look to the next few years, as I plan my personal training program.  It seems that several people are interested in persuing Tai Chi or similar practice as well in an effort to keep their energetic, physical, martial, and magickal skills keen.  One informs the other, so I cannot ignore this piece of my training, however it fits in. 

I am choosing to no longer participate in hard martial forms.  My body has already suffered permanent injuries from these practicies and I am not interested in further head injuries, etc.  I need my body to last for me! 

Maybe tai chi it is?

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Succumbing to Rest

I have always set impossible, perfectionist standards for myself.  That's part of my baggage whether it be in my birthchart, part of my upbringing, or the childhood fixation with trying to be more like Jesus.  I have worked in the past 10 years on allowing myself to play.  I don't enjoy past-times for the most part unless I feel they have a beneficial outcome like growing my relationships, making me physically healthier, or learning something. 

In the past few years I have been so close to so major life goals that I have been driven into hyper drive.  I have enjoyed the adventure with my partner of the past 4 years as we pushed each other and our limits to strive forward.  I have noticed that there is a cycle after big rituals and intensive weekends where 2 days later  I would mentally and emotionally crash.  I have had to start allowing myself the murky low of dropping off of the ecstatic joy of the weekend.  I try not to plan anything during that day, get more sleep, and excuse my blue mood.  When I started to take this approached, it no longer seemed like something was wrong.

Much of my internal dialog during these lows would seem along the lines of "I'm so depressed!  What's wrong with me?  I can't do this!"  I have started to be able to tell this voice, "you are just tired, and that is okay.  Be gentle!"  So now, instead of "what is wrong with me?"  I now am able to discern, that this is what tired feels like and it can be grumpy and blue.  Its okay not to be productive when I'm tired.  I need rest in these instances.  I was reminded of a song that I heard when I was a teenager.  This song allowed me to give words to a need to be alone and recharge.  It gave me words to permit myself to not always be on my "A" game.

This type of self-care led to an epiphany this weekend.  Underlying my activities, studies, my achievements was a small voice that wondered during the winter, in the darkness, "What's wrong with me?"  This voice wondered with all the discipline, practice, and spiritual endeavors, why did I feel that deep down inside, there was something broken.  I was reminded of the words of Frank MacEowen, that that deep urge inside is the spiritual longing for connection.  This weekend, I connected with a deeper understanding of the Qabalistic Fall.  The fall, the disconnect is not personal, its a human condition.  It is not something that is wrong with me, its that seed of discontent and the urge of connection within every human on this planet. 

I don't have to sit and examine my wound and forever focus on how or why I have the hangups I do.  I am excited to have one more tool to soothe when I'm tired, when I feel alone, when I am grumpy.  I am surrounded by strong, incredible people that all seek connection and evolution as well.  We are aware and yet allow us to be gentle with ourselves, without excuses.

Blessed be.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Book available for Pre-Order

My first book, Ecstasy in Shadow is now available for pre-order.  If you are interested in reading my book, consisting of 32 short poems and an essay or magick and ritual in the magickal community, then please do pre-order.  100 pre-order is the goal and it will make possible the first publishing run of books. 

The release date is 10/15/11

$12 plus $3 shipping and handling.  paypal to  If you don't do paypal, email me and I'll give you an address for checks.


Monday, August 15, 2011

changing our relationship to our thoughts

I've had a doosey of a Mercury retro grade during the past two weeks.  The first thing that happened wound up being good for me though.  There was a fire in my 10 story office building on Sunday and I got to work remotely from home all week.  During this week I was able to stay home, in the quiet solitude, while still taking care of my normal job functions, taking calls on my cellphone, and for my clients, they would not have been able to tell that there was any difference.

During this time, I enjoyed not having a managerial hawking eye watching over me and not being micro managed.  I'm not sure my bossed worked much and I suspect he played a lot of tennis.  Good for him.  Even better he's on vacation this week.  The absense of my boss, a couple of negative co-workers, and the comfort of home lifted a lot of stress and I found my relationship to work changing.  Was work the office?  No.  Work was my book of business and my responsibilities to my clients and to be a good employee.  I solved problems and did analysis that needed to be done.  All of this I did without a sense of pressure or worry.  Old shells left from the unhealthy, disfuctional environment of my last job finally crumbled away. 

I am interested to see how this fresh perspective will interact whenever I do get back into the office.  I have been at this job for over a year now.  I am greatful for this environment and my ability to change my relationship to it.  I am going to start looking at a few other things to see what would benefit from me changing my perspective.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

My political druthers

The start of the debate was that people my age aren’t willing to step up, and do their civil duty by forcing the government to change by participating in protests. My point was that the issues that matter to me aren’t like abortion/no abortion, war/no war, cut and dry issues. The issues I feel passionate about are bigger than the understanding of the general public or possibly anyone. The systems are baffling economists, stock market analysts, and those involved in social programming planning.

I feel the whole system doesn’t make any sense and I don’t feel like there is a way other than the ways that I am involved in my community to make a difference. I think the work I do with people on a personal level will make a whole hell of a lot of difference to people’s wellbeing and happiness than picketing (losing my job, and going to jail) ever could. If I don’t know where I want the government to go other than “You poopy-heads are being greedy, stop it” how do I tell them what to do? That’s what I mean by personal responsibility. It has to be for the people that are in charge as well.

I’m not suggesting socialism. I don’t think the answers are financially feasible though. In the case of the taking the train, the public transit system is inadequate. It is there, but only worth using if you have no choice. As far as pay cuts go, in the current “state of affairs” I moved to a place in the country where my grocery bill doubled, housing quintupled, property taxes quintupled (at least), and my pay? Flat lined. I understand your mentioning most of the world where they make all of $50 a year and no healthcare.

It will take running out of fossil fuels completely and global economic collapse to motivate the type of ideology shifts needed to take care of an interconnected global system. We need a lot more international government. I’m not saying national government will no longer exist, but it isn’t the end all. In the next 50 to 100 years there is going to be massive change. Maybe it will mean that we no longer have access to fossil fuels, beef, and fancy technological conveniences. The path to that change does not look pretty to me.

In the past 3 years, as I watched the economy dwindle and got used to much more constrained resources, I have shifted my focus toward the pursuit of happiness and spiritual solace despite the mess of the world. People are always repeating the Chinese curse, “We live in interesting times”. Do I live in anger, fear, and paranoia? Do I rail against the government to my own detriment? Or do I hold close to my family and create a life full of experiences, love, magick, and intimacy, and keep my priorities so that I can make the rest of the struggle of life worth it?

Maybe people my age don’t know any better. Maybe I’m not smart enough to have this conversation, that’s very possible. I know this much, the ideological debating of one side or the other of current bi-partisanism makes absolutely no sense whatsoever to me. That system has lost perspective. I don’t want to go into politics to change it. I’m not cut out for that type of warring. When I do have answers, I’ll let the government know.

Waiting on the World to Change

This is why I don’t have political discussions. I feel that especially older people are so ingrained with their way of doing things that when I do speak up with my measly personal opinions, all they hear is “Blah, blah, kavetch, whine!” Why am I going to even try to develop opinions where there is no interplay or actual discussion. Where there is no forum for debate and anything I believe is automatically wrong. Obviously what is wrong with the youth is that they aren’t doing anything the way it was done 50 years ago? Right…

What motivation do I have when the people in charge are selfish, corrupt, self-serving, power mongering tyrants? Why am I going to protest social security when if I do, my parents lose their income? I have been writing my representatives and congressmen about the abysmal state of the mortgage industry and the personal strive the market is causing me. But why? When the government bails super banks out of bankruptcy, doesn’t regulate their use of that money, and then the same government is at risk of defaulting on its own obligations. The bailout, the budget, regulations, social programing is all a ridiculous game for the insincere. Why should I support welfare where there are enough loopholes that it encourages poor mothers to have even more children and I won’t have children because I can’t afford to stay home with them? Do you expect me to support public transporation when a 2.5 hour drive becomes a 6 hour trip on 3 trains and costs me more? And you expect me to protest antiabortion demonstrators?

Please listen to John Meyer’s song, Waiting on the World to Change. He’s singing my generational anthem.

I’ve been debating abortion with a lot of people lately, such a hot topic. My point is that in the big scheme of things, it’s such a small topic, it doesn’t matter. My husband always reminds me that it is a hot topic because it’s easily definable.

I listened to my elderly neighbor the other day commiserate with his sister about how the government isn’t take care of him because he barely has enough social security or medicare to take care of himself. He wants the government to just take care of everything, like it’s a simple thing. I doubt he has ever read what an actual bill looks like or has thought about the many layers of deliberation, debate, or negotiating that goes into passing a bill. It’s just not that easy.

I feel that we are at a point very similar to the fall of Rome. The large empires (nations) are falling. The old ways don’t work and until we are willing to work together as a global world view, economy, and government, things will continue to crumble. I can talk to anyone in the world, buy things anywhere in the world. I have a global worldview, not a national one.

After 9/11, everyone in my area started putting flags on their cars and talked about supporting the president (blindly). I put a sticker on my car that was a quote from Thomas Jefferson, “Dissent is the highest form of patriotism”. The founding fathers assumed that every 300 to 400 years the government would need to be overthrown for a new one. The problem is, that overthrowing the US government would only be a piece of the world’s problem. I don’t live in a nation. I live on Earth.

New modes for a new aon

I found a very interesting this morning that discussion on Facebook when people were talking about an article that had been written about today's youth, specifically people in their 20's to people that are 34. All of the people that were discussing this were in the 50s and 60s. So, since I was in the age range that the article was discussing I decided to chime in. Specifically, the article was discussing the American youth's lack of the willingness to be defiant and protest. It stated that the youth had been battered into submissiveness. The article stated that large school loans, responsibilities, TV, psychiatric drugs, and poor diet choices were the reasons that youth didn't have any motivation to create change or stand up for themselves.

I have many bits of this article to reflect on one was I did have school loans when I graduated college and pick up for them to or is that I've never found protests actually get anything done I recalled a protest that it happened when I was in high school and how many of the students in our county got suspended many of the students had a harder time getting into college because of the suspensions on the records and many of Sindbads zeros on tests that day hurting their GPAs. the parents were furious! it caused more division between youth and the people in charge running the school board running our government. there was no understanding or change that resulted. Protest is not my way. I mentioned that building rapport understanding remaining calm builds more true dialogue and understanding.

I find it funny that the responses I caught where that I I wasn't approaching things the way they did in the 60s that I didn't understand the meaning of protested I wasn't protesting correctly and world with social networking blogging no company loyalty, the world where what was is no longer,why would methods from 50 years ago work now?

What works now is going viral online. don't you remember the campaign right after all of this gay suicides. Then everyone started standing up and speaking for those people to give them solidarity. How many states since then have passed marriage laws for gays? that's what works.

Politicians at this point don't have any sense of honor or nobility. the people in charge are there because they have so much money they have all the power. My hope is that we can build ideologies we believe in so much the people start to take responsibility in themselves and each other that we can build a new way to think, and a new way to live. We cannot go back to old ways, butmust move into a more useful, healthier paradigm at this down of the new era.