Making Merit

    Within the various interweaving strands of the Thai occult as illuminateed through the bold and groundbreaking hands-on work of Peter Jenx there can be found a seemingly endless variety of spirits, ghosts, amulets, lineages, and knowledge. These widely reaching and sometimes drastically differing techniques and teachings can, however, be linked by a metaphysical common denominator which not only creates a medium for the individual parts to interact seamlessly as one unified system, but additionally causes this overarching umbrella to become, at least generally speaking, benefic.

    Buddhism is that common denominator in many ways, but a specifically metaphysical analysis proves more effective for the purpose of identifying and rehabilitating of our own magical blind spots, the wounds we cannot see until reflecting back from outside our own culture and mindset.

    In Western Magic, meant primarily as shorthand for the colonizing world’ and it’s European tributaries’ magical descendants, can be found a historically clinical or transactional view of spirit interactions and magic, one which is likely an unfortunate artifact of both reductionist logic and materialist machine-world philosophy. Animist views are not entirely absent in the West, and far less so with the passing of recent years, though it still seems to be a far less relational, vulnerable, and cooperative modality which gets represented in our literature, teachings, and thinking when compared to those of cultures whose animist roots have remained intact as a part of both their philosophy and identity, such as with Thailand and Burma as represented in Jenx’s work, as in Japan with Shinto, or some of the later intrusions by the Roman Catholic church upon indigenous lifeways in which cases little was removed from the indigenous practices when compared to earlier crusades.

    In the case of the Thai occult there is one element which is so simple, so obvious once it has been understood, and so liberating once it has been employed, that one almost feels as if waking from a long dark dream, a pessimist’s facsimile of life. This single metaphysical component to the Thai occult systems can have such profound impacts on the individual that if one were to hypothesize that all those amulets were just a trick to seed the idea of this single element into the minds of Westerners through a trojan horse of desire, I would say amen and hallelujah.

The concept of Merit is not entirely foreign to us Westerners. The Catholic Church teaches that a reward in heaven is promised for meritorious works, however they unsurprisingly complicate things by breaking this down into three distinct types, getting together with Lutherans and arguing about it until the whole thing was presumably more trouble than it was ever worth to them. But the idea of good deeds as spiritual currency remains, well, meritorious.

We can find this concept employed as magical technology within prayers to the dead, Anima Sola, and in the invocations following Christian prayer and evocation which invoke the “Merits of Jesus Christ,” of which there are presumed to be a great many, in order to persuade and command spirits. When a spirit is being cajoled by Merits rather than offerings or even the blood of the Savior, this alone should inform us of the power and potency of this non-substance in the realm of spirit, and perhaps a renegotiation of our definition of “heaven” could assist us in providing the above Roman Catholic sentiment on the subject with some much needed immediacy of application. 

Heaven, when seen as an analog for the spirit realm which exists in, with, and through the physical (here in the present rather than in an abstraction of the future) becomes suddenly and miraculously liberated from inaction and comes to rest comfortably within a sound, living, active, and most importantly immediate mystical logic.

In the Thai occult and it’s “funny sort of Buddhism” as Jenx lovingly refers to it, the concept and practice of making Merit is central. Within an animist culture, where belief in the unseen is common, the idea of a spiritual record of one’s deeds would seem more tangible, less ethereal. Adding to that the Buddhist understanding of Karma places the idea of Merit further into the real world than you or I can likely comprehend.

I can recall, as a child, being in touch with my true heart’s desires. Mostly I wanted to help and be included. I wanted to give, to do good. It was simple. But over time the disenchanted denizens of the world impressed their ways upon me, seeding fear into my soil. Fear that a good deed unnoticed truly counts for nothing, and that generosity will be met with selfishness in equal measure as a rule.

To put it simply, the fear of getting fucked wormed its way into my heart.

The underlying and under examined materialist philosophy which supported these patterns of thought and action acted as a setting agent in the concrete wall so carefully constructed around a once generous soul. Because if nobody up there was keeping score, the whole thing was a damn wash. The same bureaucratic bone grinder that runs the human world must be in charge of the whole thing.

The thing about all this is, it’s fucking wrong.

If you don’t believe me, go do something nice for someone, go home to your altar, think of the good deed in your mind while pulling in a spirit friend, and offer the good deed to them. Feed the moment of the act to your spirit ally with a generous heart. Hold that shape for a moment and you will feel a response. Try it. Try it with your ancestors. Try it with the land spirits. The inherent truth in merit as spiritual currency is self evident in practice.

We live in one world, with each explanation for how it all works being its own sort of true. But here we have a clear an obvious universal metaphysical technology, one which shows up in multiple places and times and functions cross culturally and beyond borders of tradition or lifeways. The implications of this are staggering and liberating.

No longer does that voice in the back of my head that nags about getting either rewarded or screwed over have an audience with me. The rug has been swept clean out from under that prick, and he absolutely had it coming. The rug is rolling up around him in layer after layer of surrender and lovingkindness.

I encourage everyone to try this.

Go out on a limb: be kind.

Even if just to prove me wrong.

So I made a podcast.

Until I make a permanent home for this new project by myself and illustrator-magician Kurt Huggins, I’m just going to post the debut episode here.

This is an exploration and an experiment. Taking cues from our own favorite podcasts and realizing that in an edited world raw realness is useful, we’re going with the improvised low budget, low effort improv prompt for the show where we just talk about stuff we (or the guest) like and whatever else comes up.

This will be a learning experience and an adventure, our comfort level and rapport developing over time, while the content and structure will be forever open to change. The sound quality will improve too, but a lot quicker if we get donations (which you can give through the link on our page or through Bitcoin donations within podcasting 2.0 apps.)

Enjoy!

Here’s a link since WordPress can’t embed a simple podcast without failing. 😀

Different for Necro Nerds?

When we moved to Northern Germany, two gravediggers from my wife’s parish helped us move south just across the border. We had been denied our Family Reunification in Denmark and so this Priest and Wizard couple were forced to relocate to stick together.

My wife, who officiates funerals, and myself, who facilitates a course that teaches ancestral healing and working with the dead, were literally carried by graveyard attendants to the south and across a border during a Mercury retrograde.

Now, over half a year later, we have finally been approved to move home to Denmark and to the quiet village we call home. Interestingly, the approval news came upon Danish Liberation Day, a significant nod from the spirits during these tyrannical times, which also happens to be beloved Danish philosopher and father of existentialism Søren Kirkegaard’s birthday. This is especially significant to us, as he has always been important to my wife and I was reading him when I first visited Denmark at age 17- I didn’t even know he was Danish and I had gone on a walk by the sea when I discovered a giant stone memorial to him, blowing my little mind.

So standing here, looking at everything and the kitchen sync, and getting ready to move again during retrograde, I’m forced to ask myself, honestly; Is it different for necromancers?

It’s impossible to say how much of the following is because of any given factor, but I find the shape of it worth glancing at here. As someone who has debilitating ADD, I notice different frequencies of thought fairly acutely. In a similar fashion to the way a pure sativa will send your thoughts into an electric, active, bristling dynamism but indica will create a dreamy slow, hungry, smooth, deep river, so do I experience rational thought and emotional thought as high and low. One is in the head, one is in the belly and heart. 

This experience of thought spectrum is useful. If I think too many thinky thoughts I get overloaded, my momentum spins out of control (what my parents would call getting wound up when I was little, which still feels right to this day) and this can be instigated by just too much sensory input.

So what I’ve noticed in MercRx is that those high frequency logic thoughts simply don’t get as loud and out of hand as they usually do. And that the lower frequencies are all dialed up. And I fucking like this. 

If communication feels like too much of a struggle I just give up, stop trying. Feel things out in that lower register instead. That’s often the state I’m already reaching for in daily prayer, there’s just less static to slough off in Rx times.

I like it here.

So I’m just wondering, am I the only one? Am I the only weirdo out there who moves during retrograde, who prefers his thoughts to break down easily and communication to be forced into a more earthy, bodily modality? 

And is this because I feel so pulled to working with the dead, or is my pull to the dead because of my ADD? 

I have no answers. 

Only stories and questions.

Ten Choirs on a Pocket Tenner: The Whole World In Your Hand

The following is a means of being in relation and connected to angels as a daily practice by using a pocket tenner rosary dedicated to Saint Michael. The daily recitation of these devotions, supplications, and petitions have had profound effects on my dreams and my ability to recall them as well as significantly reducing the effort and time involved in getting into the appropriate headspace when the time does arise to perform a conjuration or scrying session.

In the case of this method we go backwards from the usual tenner method, beginning at the saint medal (rather than the cross) with the anthem prayer which was said to have been transmitted by Michael himself as part of the chaplet of Saint Michael.

Then we move on to the choirs for the decad as found in Dr. Rudd’s keys which include a tenth choir of “blessed souls” (or Saints) governed by the angel Issim which is, more specifically according to Rudd, part of the Christ spirit embedded within the incarnate sphere of the elements. The descriptions of the choirs found here I have taken from the Sixth and Seventh Books of Moses for two reasons. For one, they are the most eloquent and magically useful that I have found. The second reason is that the Sixth and Seventh Books of Moses were considered both the most notorious and important texts in Pow-Wow and Braucherei craft, to which I have ancestral connections.

The prayer for the separator bead is my own re-working of the first of the preliminary angelic prayers found in the Cunning Man’s Grimoire, including a Semiforos magical name said in Sepher Raziel to be rather convincing when intoned in the company of angels.

The prayer for the cross is another re-working of my own, this time from the Gaelic-Scottish prayer, sometimes called St. Michael’s Shield found in Carmina Gadelica.

And the final invocational devotion comes from Devotion to the Nine Choirs of Holy Angels and Especially to the Angel Guardian and has been one of my favorites for some time due to the blatant association made between angels and asterisms.


(Medal)
O glorious prince St. Michael, chief and commander of the heavenly hosts, guardian of souls, vanquisher of rebel spirits, servant in the house of the Divine King and our admirable conductor, you who shine with excellence and divine virtue, deliver us from all evil who turn to you with confidence and enable us by your gracious protection to serve God more and more faithfully every day.

Pray for us, O glorious St. Michael, Prince of the Church of Jesus Christ, that we may be made worthy of His promises.

Almighty and Everlasting God, Who, by a prodigy of goodness and a merciful desire for the salvation of all men, has appointed the most glorious Archangel St. Michael Prince of Your Church, make us worthy, we ask You, to be delivered from all our enemies, that none of them may harass us at the hour of death, but that we may be conducted by him into Your Presence. This we ask through the merits of Jesus Christ Our Lord.
Amen.

(Decad)
O burning Seraphim, who set our hearts ablaze with, and firmly fix our eyes upon, the fervent love of God; By the intercession of St. Michael, may the Archangel Metatron and the choir of Seraphim assist me gladly in every need and desire throughout this life. Amen.

Our Father
Hail Mary x3

O illuminated Cherubim, who give us enlightenment of the mind, power and wisdom over exalted figures and images, through which we can gaze upon holy presences; By the intercession of St. Michael, may the Archangel Raziel and the choir of Cherubim assist me gladly in every need and desire throughout this life. Amen.

Our Father
Hail Mary x3

O regal Thrones, who grant unto us the knowledge of how we are made and constituted first in spirit, that we may direct our thoughts upon eternal things; By the intercession of St. Michael, may the Archangel Cassiel and the choir of Thrones assist me gladly in every need and desire throughout this life. Amen.

Our Father
Hail Mary x3

O fearsome Dominations, whose divine assistance enables us to attain salvation and bring into subjugation our daily enemies, whom we carry with us constantly; By the intercession of St. Michael, may the Archangel Zadkiel and the choir of Dominations assist me gladly in every need and desire throughout this life. Amen.

Our Father
Hail Mary x3

O indominable Powers, who tirelessly protect us against all enemies of life, love, and humanity, whether they be seen or unseen; By the intercession of St. Michael, may the Archangel Samael and the choir of Powers assist me gladly in every need and desire throughout this life. Amen.

Our Father
Hail Mary x3

O wise Virtues, who infuse strength into us, enabling us to contend against the enemies of truth and reward, that we may journey along our paths with grace and mastery; By the intercession of St. Michael, may the choir of Virtues assist me gladly in every need and desire throughout this life. Amen.

Our Father
Hail Mary x3

O intelligent Principalities, who grant that all things may become known to us, that we may grasp all power, and draw unto ourselves all secret and supernatural knowledge; By the intercession of St. Michael, may the Archangel Anael and the choir of Principalities assist me gladly in every need and desire throughout this life. Amen.

Our Father
Hail Mary x3

O majestic Archangels, who grant that we may care for all things that God has made in relation to us, for the animals of the field, for the fishes of the sea, and for the birds of the air; By the intercession of St. Michael, may the Archangel Raphael and the choir of Archangels assist me gladly in every need and desire throughout this life. Amen.

Our Father
Hail Mary x3

O holy Angels, who assist that we may receive the power to act as messengers of the divine; By the intercession of St. Michael, may the Archangel Gabriel and the choir of Angels assist me gladly in every need and desire throughout this life. Amen.

Our Father
Hail Mary x3

O most Blessed Souls, who guide and ward us day and night as Saints and honored heroes; By the intercession of St. Michael, may the Archangel Issim and the choir of Blessed Souls assist me gladly in every need and desire throughout this life. Amen.

Our Father
Hail Mary x3

(Separator bead)
O infinite, wise, holy, blessed, omnipotent God, who commanded the light to shine forth from the darkness and conjured the world by the sound of His voice, who created the choirs of thine most holy angels and arranged them in perfect harmony, who made them thy ministering spirits for all believers in the power of thy name, wherefore I, the flawed and fraught, do constrain thee to pardon my sins and offenses through the infinite mercy of thy son Jesus Christ, and to purify my spirit, body, and mind with thy Holy Spirit’s endless might, and to fortify me with genuine faith, hope, and charity, and grant me virtue and power that these, thy holy angels, Metatron, Raziel, Michael, Gabriel, Samael, Raphael, Sachiel, Anael, Cassiel, and Issim, with their ministering angels and spirits, being called in the name of God the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, may through the merits of Jesus Christ willingly and readily teach, protect, and empower me in all my questions, demands, and desires. And in each and every necessity with courage, understanding, and memory grant unto me thy power and strength of wisdom and might against all assaults of mine enemies, spiritual and bodily, to thy glory, the good of thy people, and the comfort of this humble servant of the most high Creator. By the holiest and most efficacious names Iao, Sabaoth, Adonai, Elohim, so be it done. In the name of God the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, and through the merits of Jesus Christ ✞,

Yeseraye.

Amen.

(Cross)
O Michael of the Archangels & the righteous in heaven,
Shield thou my soul with the service of thy sword.
Shield thou my soul both below and on high.
Shield me on every side,
From enemies above and beneath the earth,
From those seen and from those unseen,
Protect me from deceit and destruction, St. Michael.
Protect and encircle my soul ‘neath thy wing
‘Neath the safety of thy fiery wing.
In the name of the Father, Son, & Holy Ghost, and through the merits of Jesus Christ.
Amen.

(Hold the whole chain up or in the palm of the hand)
Come all ye Angels, so holy and so pure, spirits truly blessed who stand before your Lord and contemplate with such exceeding joy the Divine Countenance of that Heavenly Solomon, who hath enlightened you with a wisdom so excellent, who hath ennobled you with so many prerogatives, and hath made you worthy of so eminent a glory- you, I say, who are those brilliant stars which shine with so much luster in the radiant Heavens, pour into my soul, I beseech you, your blessed influences. Preserve my faith in its purity, my hope in its firmness, my virtue in its integrity, and make me to advance ever in the wisdom of God and the love of my neighbors. I beseech you, O ye blessed Angels, that you will be pleased in your auspicious graces to lead me along the path of knowledge, of which you gave us the example in your own blessed beginnings, that after this life I may merit with you to contemplate the sovereign beauty of the heavenly Creation, and to occupy the place of some one of those stars which through their curiosity and desire have fallen from heaven. In the name of God the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, and through the merits of Jesus Christ.
Amen.

Ahriman & Cyprian

Two conversations I listened to recently got me buzzing inside in that way that most things don’t after a certain age. It was one of those ideas that takes your current mode of thought and crumbles it calmly in its hand and stares at you blankly, indifferent to your reactionary protests. The talks in mind were both featuring everybody’s favorite sex-positive theosophist Conner Habib (once on his own show with Alkistis Dimech and Peter Grey, the other on Rune Soup as a guest) and feature some difficult concepts relating to Rudolph Steiner’s work on a being called Ahriman. Now, I’m no Steinerite nor am I even well-versed in his work, however the characteristics of Ahriman are a matter I believe most of us can identify as alive and active in the world today. There is something about the personification and inspiriting-through-myth of these forces in the persona of Ahriman that somehow makes the task of grappling with such dark and mechanistic powers a bit more manageable.

Ahriman is a far older being than Steiner’s work, though his prophecy and interpretation seems to have pulled this being from the abstractions of ancient (or the reinterpretations present-day) Zoroastrianism into a practically-applicable contemporary relevance. Steiner’s vision of Ahriman is one of a being who possesses no framework or capacity for empathy or compassion, meaning there is a deficit in its ability to relate. For a being that is conscious and alive, having no ability to form a sense of realness or aliveness in relation to the Other would reduce the possibilities of interaction so acutely that self-expression would necessarily be limited to such truly meaningless and contextless acts as the application of force, increase of efficiency, volume, output, or any other factor which is void of a deeper relational meaning but have a visible, measurable, material impact on the world. Complex expression relies upon the way one identifies, relates, and adapts with the Other, therefore without empathy one would likely exist in a world where everything (and everyone) else is perceived as unconscious, un-aware. All feedback data relating to the nuance of well-being, coherence, sentiment, joy, pain, or trauma would all be purged as irrelevant and the being in question would never respond to cries of pain, unless these data indicated that they were disrupting its self-expression or efficiency, or could be employed as manipulative tools to increase these factors over time. 

Now, if this shape is beginning to set off some alarms, bouncing off of literally everything you know about financial tycoons, late-stage capitalism, and the frenzied conversion of earth-matter into profit then I’d say your’re getting the picture. These tangible phenomena seem to be the impact of Ahriman expressing itself in our world via technological and human means, though as with the tyrannical uber rich who pull the strings behind the scenes- you can’t really fight these forces head-on, lest you find yourself destroyed by them, or worse, subsumed. 

Regardless of which version you’re familiar with, the essential structure of the hagiography of Saint Cyprian remains in place. A powerful character, Cyprian, finds great gains in being capable of manipulating the world through the force of magic, presumably making his living and enjoying notoriety, but primarily the satisfaction of being somehow superior to others. A full commitment to being powerful enabled him to disregard other human concerns and become a magic-learning machine, until he encountered an anomaly. The faithful Saint Justina was able to thwart the very best of Cyprian’s sorcery with nothing more than faith and the sign of the cross, an act that should have, by his accounts, been impossible. This was far more than a simple defeat; this was an existential crisis. Cyprian had gladly given himself to the Devil in exchange for power and there had yet to be an instance in which this power fell short. This was a restructuring of Cyprian’s cosmology to include the impossible, to adapt to the idea that the most powerful being he had ever encountered may have been a small fry, and the subsequent awe and humility one cannot escape from following a reality disruption of this magnitude.

Now, currently we are experiencing Ahriman hard at work in zee fourth industrial revolution. It is mining all of our data, creating digital twins of us to be used in predictive simulations for social and carbon credit systems, predetermined education and career paths, advertising, law enforcement, military training and psyops, and the creation of new human futures markets which literally make us livestock. This means that as someone watches their marriage fall apart, or slips into addiction, or becomes suicidal due to the ever-unfolding consequences of lockdowns, job loss, foreclosures, closed businesses, and mysterious lingering health issues, every change in behavior from social media scrolling to their phone microphone may as well be the eyes and ears of Ahriman observing, learning, and formulating new strategies to make the world better (by force) through future manipulations. As stated, this isn’t the kind of thing one can wage war on, so what do we do? 

And this brings us to Conner’s point about our human responsibility to humanize this being which has made its firm arrival into our world. We have an obligation to our realm to be a living example of that which is both irrational and illogical, but inherently human. Conner shared in those talks that he had come to understand that the only option is for us humans to grow Ahriman a heart. If we can’t fight it, and we can’t make it go away, logic dictates that we must somehow learn to live with it. This idea was the aforementioned hand that crumbled up my previous mode of thought and watched it sift through fingers to the floor. In the Rune Soup episode, he said he wasn’t quite ready for the task. And me neither, not directly. But it also got me thinking of practically how we would go about this work of offering compassion to an enemy. How do we do the thing?

We do this by defying Ahriman’s expectations. We find our center and we dig deep for calm and compassion when we don’t feel up to it. Like when we’ve been stuck in the house with the same person(s) for weeks at a time and we speak kindly when we want to scream. Like when everyone around you is a toxic mess who doesn’t deserve your respect and you give it to them anyway. Like when the future seems incredibly dark and we still find it in our hearts to whistle as we stroll, to lose ourselves in the resplendent joy of being. Like when a mechanistic intelligence from another world is invading yours and you throw a wrench in its gears by being the compassionate outlier, the factor that won’t behave predictably and selfishly. Because the anomalies will not be ignored by this being. When by all accounts you should break, but you don’t, it breaks the predictive logic of the machine. It suggests that there is another power at play, one it hadn’t considered formidable, or hadn’t considered at all. This power is very much invisible and it is an absolute mystery. It is the same power that Justina found in her savior, the one she imbued in the triple cross. The very same that thwarted Cyprian and the Devil thrice, the anomaly that makes saints of scoundrels and adheres that which would otherwise be desiccated. It is the power that restructured Cyprian’s understanding of, and relationship with, power itself. It is the anomalous expression of this power which will, over time, force Ahriman to include factors in its computations which it currently deems irrelevant. It is this power that saves us all, but is reduced by its compartmentalized verbal utterance, therefore I care not to say it outright here. It doesn’t need to be mentioned. It’s more of a thing to be done.

Novena to the Providence of Saint Michael

In light of Michaelmas coming up on September 29th, I thought it would be a good time to share a potent protection novena for leading into the feast day of the Archangel Michael.

The following was reworked from commonly available prayers with a touch of grimoiric spice.

Gather nine small candles or tea lights and some frankincense.

Make a seal for Michael, ideally within the center of some version of a hexagram. There are many variations available with a quick search and any that resonates with you is appropriate.

Write the following Invoking Psalm clockwise around the hexagram or seal.

“The Lord shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth, and even for evermore.”

Place an image of Michael upright in the back center of your altar space. Directly in front of Michael, place his seal flat on the altar. To the left and right front corners of the altar, place a candle at one front corner, and the brazier or incense burner at the other. The Michael image, incense, and candle should form a triangle, with the seal of Michael flat in the center.

Open in whatever fashion feels suitable, perhaps Levi’s Prayer to the Sylphs, the Cunning Man’s Grimoire angel prayers, or anything that feels right. Genuinely and faithfully recite the following each day for nine days. Offer one candle per day, allowing it to burn out.


In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.
Amen.

Offer candle and frankincense.

I call out to you, Archangel Saint Michael, and I honor you this day.

“The Lord shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth, and even for evermore” x9

Saint Michael the Archangel, loyal champion of God and His People. I turn to you with confidence and seek your powerful intercession. For the love of God, who made you so glorious in grace and power, and for the love of the Mother of Jesus, the Queen of the Angels, be pleased to hear our prayer.

You know the value of our souls in the eyes of God and may no stain of evil ever disfigure their beauty. You help us to conquer the evils which tempt us and to grow ever in our strength. We desire to imitate your loyalty to God and the Queen of Heaven and your great love for Creation’s people, and since you are God’s messenger for the care of His people, we entrust to you this special petition:

That every soul who prays this novena shall be granted coherence, lucidity, and protection from all enemies, visible and invisible, and grant that every time this novena is prayed with faith, its power and effectiveness multiplies for all others who have done so, in an ever-increasing choir of divine grace. Lord, hear and grant our special intentions for this Novena.

By Yeseraye, Sabaoth, Adonai, Elohim, and through the blood of Jesus Christ, we ask that you protect us, Archangel St. Michael, against violence, curses, and theft, both seen and unseen. In your goodness, preserve us each day from all the malice of those who are sinful and wicked. In your sleepless vigilance, watch over the safety and welfare of our hearths and homes and keep guard over our assets and belongings. Ever hold in your special care, most triumphant St. Michael, the safety and protection of those who seek the divine against the crimes of hardened hearts, and defend us in times of peril. Defend us in battle, Archangel St. Michael and be our defense against the curses and snares of the hateful ones. May God rebuke them, we humbly pray; and do thou, O Prince of the heavenly host, by the power of God, thrust into the abyss and bind any evil spirits who prowl about us seeking the ruin of our souls or bodies, or the destruction of our plans and dreams.
In the name of… &etc.
Amen.

Lord. Amen.

Lord, you have given your angels charge of us.
To keep us in all our ways.

Glory Be x3

Our Father

Prescription-Free Anti-Anxiety Meditation

Given that we are living in a time where just a stolen glance to my phone from across the room can induce heart palpitations, I’ve been working on my anxiety. As I mentioned in the last post, the anxiety has been gaining momentum as the centripetal forces increase and the West circles the drain.

But I’m a wizard, damn it. Why would I traverse the dangers of my inner shadow, forge relationships with ancient spirits, fight tooth and nail mapping the unknown, and face the cold judging eyes of infantilizing materialists just to die of a stress-induced heart attack? Well, hopefully, I wouldn’t. So I wrote a little prayer that I’ve found to be, honestly, somewhat surprisingly potent.

My method for combating the anxiety is a simple technique that anyone can do, provided you’ve jailbroken the incredibly useful nature of whatever spirit is called Jesus from the traumas and impositions of one’s potential indoctrination.

Simply think of something that gets you into a state of anxiety. You’re probably doing it already. Try and isolate or ‘highlight’ the feeling of anxiety just for a second, don’t hold it or it may become too much, just gently illuminate the unwanted feelings and possibly the cause of them, if known. Say the following prayer as if Jesus is standing in front of you, literally dying to help.

“O Jesus Christ, Son of God,
Born of the Virgin Mary,
As you took on the weight of sin
Which burdened all the world,
So take my anxieties,
Through you, how light these burdens be.
I release them unto you.
You set my heart at ease.
Amen.”

The Murder Droids Are Software

Over the past few weeks I’ve had to learn a hard lesson. My dreams could not be remembered, and my consciousness felt as if it were in a vice all night. When I awoke, my body was tense and I immediately went back into the hyper-vigilant trauma state that is following current events, as if hypnotized by a fear-based FOMO. This state felt somehow familiar, but not so much as to be pinned down to a specific memory or time, at least at first.

After a couple weeks of feeling completely disconnected from the spirit world both while waking and asleep, having no centeredness or gumption to stick to a daily practice as usual, I began to remember when I had felt this way before.

The first instance that came to mind was rather unsettling, as it was rather recent and should not, by all logic, have been difficult to place at all. It was during the BLM protests.

The others, which came a day or two later, were even more unsettling to have forgotten even though they were from further into the past, as they were a vast series of similar moments in which I was hopelessly addicted to a highly dangerous and weaponized stimulant.

So how in holy hell could these states possibly be forgotten so easily, unless they are a significantly altered state of consciousness? Perhaps a form of hypnosis? At any rate, what I had discovered was that, as a practitioner, I had the advantage of taking note of the metaphysics involved. What seems inescapably obvious to me is that I had somehow temporarily entered into a state of shock and/or trauma which, as the condition is extended in duration, usurps a state of normalcy, posing as base-line reality. This seems to force my consciousness up and into my head. There’s a sort of anxiety that develops around not thinking. It’s as if I truly believe instinctually that if my mind ceases its hyperfocus on a train of thought even for a second, I’ll simply die. Clearly, this is dissociation.

What happened after I unplugged from the news completely, and screen time almost entirely, for 24 hours was not what I expected. The state had only lessened by a few noticeable degrees indicating the state is less acute, and probably deeper and more cumulative than I had initially thought. After another 24 hours I began to dream again, though they could still not be recalled, and I could feel my consciousness connecting to my immediate surroundings again, not back to a state of normalcy by any means, but an improvement nonetheless. Which brings us to perhaps the most disturbing point for me.

Once the hypervigilant state had a chance to unwind a bit, the frequency of emotion and energy had started to descend to operational levels. This meant that the anxiety I had been dissociating from was now manageable enough to house inside my body again, meaning shaking, trembling, etc. And through this time what I’ve noticed is how often my mind keeps referring back to what news I may be missing, what disaster might be going on without my knowledge or involvement. And I know this pattern very well from, of course, crack cocaine.

So, clearly, what is happening here is unhealthy, fear-based, dissociative, and generally a terrible way to exist. And this is just what happens from following the news, both independent and left/right mainstream alike. And in a time where epic troubles are more plentiful than fish it has become exceedingly difficult to simply write off the horror stories as being “over there” or “far away” or “the kind of thing that could never happen here” or even adding “, again.” in some cases.

But what I’ve been having to ask myself the past few days is… so what? What if I miss the memo and I get wiped out by a meteor, or aliens, or autonomous World Economic Forum murder droids? There are many fates worse than death, a sentiment far more easily accessed by those who are not materialist atheists, but a True one nonetheless.

I consider losing my last few moments, weeks, years, upon this perfect and glorious rock trapped in a prison of anxiety, disconnected from the beauty for fear of losing it, to be a fate worse than death.

But then on the other hand..

I consider the loss of our lifeways and our friendships over fear of death to be a fate worse than death.

I consider our children’s careers and limits being determined by algorithms and corporations as they get stuck with the bill from the damage done to the planet by big business and industry to be a fate worse than death.

So there aren’t any easy answers here except to be aware. Of both the horrors, and our degree of necessary exposure to them.

But, hey, I’m just some drug addict.

I don’t know shit about altered states, toxic patterns, manipulation, self-destructive behavior, coercion, or what it’s like to live through a nightmare.

Christianimism and the Creed

The Apostle’s Creed is a declaration of faith and belief, a reaffirmation intended to refresh dogma. It comes up from time to time in magical workings and, while I’m usually not tripped up by churchy landmines such as paternal epithets or monotheistic claims to power in sorcery, the Apostle’s Creed has always given me pause. Even though the words themselves aren’t particularly grating and could (depending on one’s mental gymnastics) be interpreted metaphorically, there’s just something about the intended literal interpretation which is so clearly seeded into the Creed that sets me ill at ease. It’s as if my instincts can feel the intended programming it is designed to instill and preemptively rejects outright the reductionism of interpretive freedom embedded therein. The funny thing is, there’s also always a part of me that envies the Creed, or rather those who have the option of resting their laurels upon such a comforting and concrete proclamation. There seems to be great utility in the solidarity such a matter-of-fact dedication can provide. It sures-up one’s cosmology, increasing the fidelity of one’s worldview, for better or for worse.

As is fairly standard when the way something is written isn’t working for me, I wrote my own Creed. It may not be as concrete, but it’s honest. It states all the things I can be sure I believe in without the general bad vibe to contend with. Before we get there, however, I feel it necessary to define Christianimism.

Christian Animism, the belief that God is present in the material world, is an embodied monotheism and falls a significant distance from Christianimism on the ontological map. Christianimism is an animistic worldview which employs a Judeo-Christian cosmology and gives respect to the innate intelligence of the universe as a whole, as well as to the individual persons within it. The word persons is meant to include all life-forms and intelligences, human and non-human, seen and unseen, and to recognise that very different modes of being are not less-than, but rather different-than, and nonetheless intimately entangled with, us. Christianimism is a practice of reinterpreting biblical and apocryphal myth (including Judeao-Christian inspired magical texts) in such a way as to transmute our relationship with these living stories and the spirits who identify with them into a dynamic which is cooperatively beneficial for us, and all living beings. Christianimism is about a taking back of interpretive sovereignty through ethical piracy and sanctified appropriation. Christianimism has no theology, only ecology and cosmology, and these are left to the individual to determine. Christianimism is a practice of focusing to see, and actively engage with, the magic which is plainly embedded in western consciousness through the stories and spirits of a thoroughly enchanted cosmovision which has, through abuse and misuse, come to be falsely canonized in the popular consciousness through the restrictive boundaries of resting interpretations.

And without further pageantry, I present the Christianimist’s Creed.

Christianimist’s Creed

I believe in God the whole of creation, entangled web of our being.
I believe in the innate intelligence of all persons, seen and unseen.
I believe in the holy angels, and the watchers, our ancient ancestors,
Who fell into matter to create the heavens and earth and all things,
And bestowed upon humankind great wisdom, craft, and legacy.
I believe in Jesus Christ, the Splendor, the Paraclete,
Master of magic, exorcism, and necromancy,
Who descended to hell and rose again,
Who was born of the Holy Madonna, 
Queen of Heaven and Empress of Hell,
I believe in the Holy Spirit,
The power of love,
The sanctity of ritual,
The communion of the Saints,
The wisdom of ancestors,
The forgiveness of sins,
The virtues of death,
And life everlasting.
Amen.

Story Time: My Bloody Baptism

Part of digging one’s way through the rust and mud to a magical life is reaching back to those profoundly wyrd experiences which have occurred in one’s past but we’re potentially glossed over or not met with the same willing, open eyes with which one currently seeks the numinous. I know that I, personally, tend to find as much (or more) insight and inspiration from processing the accounts and experiences of other practitioners who I would consider to be peers as I do from practical texts. For these reasons I thought it would make sense to share another story.

I had just moved to New Orleans and was ironing out the kinks in a set of all-new songs using vocals, guitar, drum machine/beatboxing, synth, and base loops which I would record, layer, and mix on-the-fly into gritty indie jams. It would be my first performance in this unbelievable city as well as my first ever performance under my newly-chosen moniker, which was not just another band name to me, but a declaration of intent; a magical act that would have precisely undefined, but self-evidently real consequences.

Having spent eight-ish years prior to this in a locally successful five-piece band back in Florida, I had noticed that as our local popularity had grown, so had my wondering about the efficacy of what I was doing as a means for doing good. I struggled with the idea that many people out there dancing couldn’t hear the desperate cynicisms and ironic empathies within my words for the cacophony of booze and personal demons that always seem so empowered for most trauma and ghost-haunted humans when they find themselves wading through the swamps of social gatherings. 

For me, the whole point of writing, composing, practicing, and performing music was to do something inherently good for others (it definitely wasn’t for the money), and while there were some who went out of their way to express that what I was doing really did mean a lot to them or helped them in some way, mostly what arose were meal-opportunities for personal demons and sickly social dynamics by means of addictions, both chemical and emotional.

So by the time I had moved to New Orleans this had all been fermenting inside for some time, and the trimming season I spent in NorCal that led up to my move provided plenty of time to ruminate away from writing and performing and that whole world. I was still pretty sure I wanted to make music as my primary output at that point, but I didn’t want the words to get lost anymore, and I needed to pinpoint the exact gears that made what I was doing helpful for others and focus on them

So the tempo dropped and the sound became more moody and communicative as opposed to dancey, a choice that may have been an unknown cowardice on my part all along. And after an uncomfortable period of analysis and contemplation I began to feel that what I was really offering which was of-worth was the permission to feel anything without judgement that seemed to permeate the audience when I performed. When there’s a skinny drunk screaming his heart into a can up there, you, as an audience member, have zero chance of being the most obnoxious/ridiculous-looking/crazy/likely-to-be-hated person in the room, because that’s my job and you can be as weird as you like without fear. In my mind, that was so beautiful. A tiny martyrdom. A minor shamanism. And that became my answer.

Loop pedal stuff with drummer Michael Murphy

Now that I finally knew what I was obviously supposed to do with my entire life, it needed a name. There is a concept a roommate told me about which I found on a Feng Shui website around that time called Sha. It was defined as harmful energy, the Chi that is present when people are angry or when a place has a threatening feel to it. Immediately I heard Issac Brock’s Ugly Casanova side project echoing in my ear “SHA SHA SHA SHAAAA” and it struck me as fun that these two contradictory feelings would be tied to the same three-letter word. But then it occurred to me that this idea of dispelling Sha was essentially the same mechanism of creating an emotionally safe place for the audience which I’d just, quite dramatically, identified as foundational to my craft, and the pseudonym Sha Sha Shaman was born.

Now, I feel I must contextualize that at this time in my life I had no magical education. I had my own occasionally-functional grassroots brand of Castaneda-inspired psychonautical shamanism, but my depth of study and practice was that of a teacup. An observation which is, in all honesty, still true, albeit nowadays a travel thermos may prove a more apt metaphor. The point is that my ignorance as to the cultural specificity and significance of the two terms involved, and the subsequently less-than-graceful appropriative line-walking contained therein, are not lost on me. My bad.

So back to the show, the first show under this declarative new name. I meant it to be just that, a pronouncement of my intentions to help, to serve, and to enjoy myself at the same time. I held a simple, small ceremony, which for me at the time was a pretty big deal, to commemorate the occasion before heading to the bar and I remember getting that hyperthick feeling in the air, one I was familiar with, but not yet intentionally. When it was time for my set I hurried to finish my beer and get another one, plus water, for the set and choke down a cigarette as I checked all my levels. Loop pedal work is absolutely ruined if your volumes aren’t dialed-in by NASA (or equivalent) and the dials on my pedal made it possible to adjust these, if necessary, while performing, however shoes were too bulky and socks too slick, so to do so required bare feet for the sake of traction. I tossed my shoes to the side and began to emotionally prepare. The sound guy gave me the go-ahead from his little booth and I remembered there was one little detail I had forgotten to mention to him which, to be honest, I cannot even recall now. So I intended to hop off the stage, take two steps to approach and deliver the message, then return to the stage and play a set so fantastic that they name a fucking parade after me. What happened was different. 

I hopped down off the stage and was greeted, not with the familiar cold and sticky grime of a New Orleans dive bar floor, but with screaming pain from the arch in my left foot. I had quite literally looked before I leapt, but the dark of the bar and the beer I had been breathing rendered my best self-preservative intentions moot. I hopped on my good foot over to the sound guy and delivered the original message, too drunk to feel shame, and told him I needed to “fix my foot real quick.”

I sat in a chair and a friend came over with a cup and began collecting the dripping blood from my glass wound to keep the bar from becoming a hazmat zone, all red mixing with remnant beer foam. It was this moment that a man I’d never seen before, or since, saw what had happened. His eyes lit up and he walked very slowly and deliberately over to where my friend and I were sitting while praying under his breath and making the sign of the cross. He never broke eye-contact with me as his own eyes became wider and he dipped his finger in the blood-foam cup, which my friend still held, and continued to pray as he marked a cross of booze and blood upon my forehead and gestured as if to signify some sort of honor had been bestowed. I taped a bar napkin tightly around my bleeding foot and hopped back up onstage and played my whole set with that bloody cross on my head (and rather well for someone using foot pedals and having only one foot, if I do say so myself.) When I was finished the man was nowhere to be found.

The actual glass.

In the months following this performance I would slide into addiction, a demon I knew I had within but had been effectively avoiding. It would begin a process that would take years, the process of being shaman-ned by the universe through the process of finding true bottom, dismantling everything that I was, losing most of my human relationships, and eventually overcoming addiction in a way that means true liberation, rather than the approach of institutional rehabilitations which hold as a core tenet the impossibility of that liberated state and offering treatment to the symptoms of a deeper, spiritual issue rather than the issue itself. 

Looking back, I believe that this declarative ritual on my part, and the unpredictable mystery of the world meeting me halfway to significate the experience by means of a bloody forehead-cross barroom-baptism, was the initiation of that horrific but necessary journey. Sure, I could have white-knuckled it for the rest of my life, always having within me that desire for feel-good drugs above all other things, people, and experiences, pulling my consciousness partly away from being present and embodied and leaving me bitter about the banality of so-called normal human existence, but it’s unequivocally better this way. 

I never would have been capable of maintaining the relationships I now have in my life, human and non-human, without that journey. I thought I was supposed to be doing what I was doing, believed it with my soul, and I was right about the structure, just not the specifics. I declared that I would give myself to the service of sanctity and the betterment of the Whole, and that call was answered with an intensive psychospiritual training program and eventual promotion.

For the time I have left on Earth as this self, I get to be fully present. I long for little that is damaging now, and I do not fear myself or my own judgement. I get to be whole. I get to be a husband, a mentor, and hopefully a father. 

All this from a noob with a purpose.

I don’t want to sum this story up with some catchy little moral, because there isn’t one. But I will say that I don’t look at people who appear stuck as lost anymore, knowing that I seemed completely hopeless to all outsiders at certain stages in my life and would have probably slapped someone if they’d told me that one day my passion for music would migrate to spiritual practices. Paths don’t diverge in the wood on their own, we must participate in the approaching of the forks and accept, with open eyes and arms, the unfathomable possibilities we call to us when we act with meaning and heart. It is interesting though, to think that sometimes we may be auditioning for a much bigger role than we realize due to the potential in us that can only been seen at the current time, by spirits.

I just wanted to share, in case it reminds a reader of a time they need to go back and properly venerate within their own lives. These moments are our plot points, our nodes, and they simply can’t be shared or studied enough. For practical gain, yes, but also for pure enjoyment and fellowship.

Until next time. ❤