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. ❤

How To Make Friends With Angels (or) How To Get Ahead In Angel Scrying (or) An Eye For An Eye Could Take a Really Long Time

My interactions with angels has been a strange ride thus far. I can only imagine how they must feel. Ever since myself and a group of fellow practitioners over at Rune Soup started a study group there has been much conversation, research, prayer, and work involved in getting to know the messengers through academic, theological, and practical efforts. We’ve poured through grimoires, scripture, apocrypha, modern academic works, and fluffy new age approaches in attempts to gleam some consistency and personality from our decidedly un-flappy and sometimes-winged-but-just-as-often-eye-spangled-and-fractally friends. Our efforts as a group have given us a boat-load of experiential data to consider, using namely the method found in Keys to the Gateway of Magic which consists of calling an archangel up as a group, scrying or journeying for ten minutes, and then comparing notes. I’ve gotten some really interesting stuff out of the sessions personally (such as Samael being a spirit who was originally worshipped on Mars as a god back when the red planet was still populated and Earth was a molten mess) but some of the others in our group have had some truly wild experiences. We have the occasional odd-vision-out but mostly the experiences, while catered to the individual and thus somewhat kooky and entirely unique, have been pretty on-the-nose as far as maintaining a suggestive coherent nature or personality of each archangel from experiencer to experiencer. The majority of my own personal contact at this point, however, comes from what I believe to be simply diligence, and eventual entanglement through the committed daily recitation of a few very lovely prayers, a dream journal, just generally having them on my mind through study, and (eventually) making requests and conversations on the fly (pun intended.)

It is best to use some training wheels to begin with and I only feel like I have a place to recommend what worked for me, and for me those training wheels were (along with our scrying sessions) the preliminary prayers from the Cunning Man’s Grimoire, which are at the bottom of this post. The first one is wonderful on it’s own, but better with the fourth following. Best practice, however, is to read all four each morning or each night before bed. Don’t just read them though, feel them. Perform them. Try it soft and listen to your words. Then try it like you’re on stage the next day; Explore them. Make shapes in the imaginal for the words, or ride them like a story within your mind. Get them in you and know them. The brilliance of these prayers is astounding to me and the metaphysics is genius. It took me some time to sort out just how much heavy lifting these prayers really do – read with magical eyes at what is being verbalized. 

Feel free to add other angels to the roster in that first prayer, but remember it covers “and their ministering angels and spirits” which means shoot high in the name list (cough, Metatron, Shekinah, cough), and consider intoning or singing them when you get to that part. These prayers also set up an imaginal command prompt with “being called or required in the name of etc..” and it really surprised me how much that helps get their attention on the fly. At least, after a month or three of nailing those prayers every day and keeping close written record of dreams.

The way that they seem, for me anyway, is more like a group of very strange friends that it’s taken a while to get to know, rather than dumb agency-lacking automitons to be commanded as some would suggest. Neither do they, in my experience, lend any likeness to archons or anything archonic, as others would say. They appear to be, through the collective experience I’ve witnessed in our group (including my own) something like sentient personifications of forces, or combinations of forces, in the universe who have permission to act causally. This is not to say they don’t have personalities, or even stories and narratives that may or may not have ever “happened” in the way us meatbrains like to define what True means, but they do seem structurally and causally integral to the universe. And they are most certainly persons

The archangels, especially, seem to have prominent roles in composing aspects of the world, as if fractured streams of consciousness cascading from the Capital G down into many streams or currents so that different forces can be combined in varying portions to make the variety of materials and beings we have in our universe. Like a table of elements, but spirits. Imagine pure white light of God hitting a prism and splitting into a rainbow, then those standard colors (archangels) sticking to some paint on a palette, only to be mixed again into new colors and images. I think of the Shemhamphorash and other “smaller-time” angels as being more complex iterations of these forces (the paintings, rather than the paint) with more complex spiritual structures and thus more specific vocations or rulerships. This would stack nicely against the grimoiric procedural method of calling up the ruling angels first; they very well may be actual components of the angels under their governance. In this sense it would be more accurate to think of a woven cascade of crocheted reality than some rigid hierarchy, but what do you expect considering the sources? In this case, also, we can think of getting to know the messengers as getting to know the very mind of God, or the seams and stitches in the quilt of Grandmother Weaver.

The archangels also appear to be different from the planetary intelligences. The planets themselves, as persons, feel like vast old conscious generators of specific currents; engines of planetary essence being constantly emitted into the cosmos and from which things are woven, while the angels seem to be the stewards of how those currents behave and how they land in the manifest; like stewards of archetypal portions of existence. I’m not even going so far as to suggest that they are even the same class or “species” of spirit, per se (because who the fuck am I, and also see notes on Samael above) but our evidence and my experiences suggest that perhaps the ranking of “angel” is an actual thing reserved for spirits who have made the choice to take a custodial role in the universe.

It seems as though now that they know me and what I’m about they simply help me when I ask them, but as stated before, this is almost certainly more about entanglement and the imaginal interface one builds through praxis and research than anything. It’s honestly quite alarming just how much my own experiences working with and befriending the angels has been indicative of an under-examined legitimacy within the more intuitive but aesthetically appalling realm of the new-age angel craze.

I believe, as stated, that this all comes down to entanglement, and severity and quantity thereof. There is no doubt that using grimoiric methods to contact, command, and accomplish magic with angels does, in fact, work, but this alone does not suggest a superior methodology. The methods that have survived did so because they work, but I personally cannot help but think that a more shamanic or intuitive approach could be equally valid, if not more so. This aligns with messages received through our group scrying sessions and our dreams (which you can read more about here); that existing systems should be used as training wheels to develop one’s own personal methods of honoring and contacting the messengers. I received the following instruction from the angels in dreams in the form of a bullet-list, a recipe for contact without a grimoire and further evidence that our entanglement-centric metaphysics is somewhat accurate. I have elaborated where necessary since this was communicated in simple words but came with packets of emotional and geometrical data attached to them, some of which was completely beyond my comprehension. What was shocking about these instructions for me was how much they supported my already running model of universal metaphysics. 

I feel I should also add that there seems to be a correlation between the fidelity of contact and the connection one has through their personal astrology. If you’re trying to decide who to reach out to first, consider looking at your birth chart and focusing on the angel of your Ascendant or Lunar ruler. Contact with Gabriel seemed to confirm the idea that the moon and moon-things directly govern happenings on our planet, and thus Gabriel is the gateway to synchronicities and contact events making them another great place to start.

The shape of this I found fascinating when considering the lore surrounding Hecate’s altar being the actual moon, and who oversees the migration of souls in and out of this world, and Hecate herself being the gatekeeper to the liminal doors. Regardless of what you decide, I implore you to share your results, either in the comments or your own blog post. And please reach out if you do. Without further adieu…

  1. Know their name; This means to explore it. Say it aloud and pay attention to the way your mouth moves, the shapes you make with your projecting and contracting breath, what shapes those cause in your mind. Meditate on the name, formally or casually, until it feels familiar. Until you feel close to it. You could research the angel you wish to contact as well, forming a better idea of who they are and what to look for and while this was not explicitly part of the directions given in my contact events, “Know their name.” could easily imply knowing their story as well.
  1. Create an heartfelt image in dedication and representation of the essence of that angel, or at least as you currently perceive/understand them. An act of heartfelt creation makes an impact, a groove where reality incorporates an idea’s full manifestation into its unfathomable folds through a mutual engagement by the imaginal and yourself. To engage in such an act in dedication to another being is exactly the kind of entanglement we are going for. This could be a glorious work of art, or as simple as a sigil but remember with acts of devotion for the sake of contact you often get exactly what you put in. This doesn’t mean a painting is better than a sigil, this means take care to put your care into whatever choice on which you land. This image can also become an event, and even a talisman, when enough effort and heart is poured into the action.
  1. Dedicate an event in spacetime to them, making action and story in which you are both main characters. This can be as simple as “Tomorrow, on the day of the sun, I will climb to the top of a hill and greet the dawn with frankincense in honor of the archangel St. Michael, in his day and on his hour.” but could equally become much more flowery and dramatic. Naturally, an action that is in harmony with the nature or rulership of the spirit in question would be ideal. Tip: They seem to enjoy singing.
  1. Say words, tell their story, and add any poetic references to personal experiences you’ve had with the angel before, even if from a story or some kind of personal connection through childhood, perhaps the hospital where you were born or a boarding school dedicated to them, but especially if you’ve ever been helped or aided by the angel before. Calling upon the parts of your stories that intersect conjures the truth of your relationality, inherent in those moments in time.
  1. If you feel them arrive, thank them for coming and ask for closer contact with them. Ask how you can strengthen the connection. Ask them to give you a sign to confirm that contact was made, if you aren’t sure, and use your cards. If they show up and it’s a strong connection already, ask them to come when you call, to know them better, or for rulership specific assistance; ask what you think is best. Perhaps make a list of questions before hand. Here’s the kicker, end your heartfelt request with “In the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, and through the merits of Jesus Christ + Amen.” 

Cunning Man’s Grimoire Preliminary Prayers

  1. Oh infinite, wise, holy, blessed, glorious, pure, good, omnipotent Father, Son & Holy Ghost, one true god of gods, king of kings, Lord of Lords, creator of all the universal world, the holy, holy, holy, high, good & merciful god Sabaoth, the omnipotent of all powers in whom all creatures live, move & be, & doe obey to thee, which hast created thine Angels in wonderful order, & made them thy ministering spirits for all believers & heirs of salvation to the glory of thy great & holy Name, wherefore I, thyne unworthy servant, doe humbly implore thy holy divine glorious good and merciful majesty, through thyne infinite goodness, love and mercy & eternal love of Jesus Christ + our mediator and messiah [Messiah] [that] you wilt vouchsafe to forgive my manyfold sins & to purify my mind, soul, spirit & body with thy Holy Spirit, & fortifie me with true faith, hope, & charity, & grant me vertue & power that these thy holy Angels, Cassiel, Sachiel, Samael, Michael, Anael, Raphael & Gabriel, with their ministering Angels & spirits being called or required in the Name of god the Father, Son & Holy Ghost, may through thy mercie in + Jesus Christ willing & readily teach, instruct, shew & visibly represent, & openly & plainely in my native tongue make me perfectly to understand clearly all my honest & lawfull desires, questions, or demands, & in all my necessities with perfect understanding and memory to help & confirm me with thy power & strength of wisdom & might against all assaults of all myne enemies, spiritual & bodily to Thy glory, good of thy people & comfort of me, thyne unworthy servant, through thyne eternal love and mercy in + Jesus Christ our Lord & saviour so be it done. And in the Name of god the Father, Son & Holy Ghost to whom be ascribed all honour, glory, power, might, majesty & dominion without end, Amen.
  2. Oh Lord Jesus Christ + which art the eternal son of god the omnipotent Father of Heaven, creator of all creatures, I most humbly beseech thy glorious good and divine majesty which art + Alpha & Omega + the first & the last, our only mediator & advocate, our Lord & saviour sitting at the right hand in glory of god the Father, that thou wouldst forgive my manyfold sins, purifying my mind, soul and body with thy righteousness & holy spirit & to strengthen my faith, hope & charity, & grant me thy help & mercie that thyne holy Angels with their ministering Angels & spirits in all my necessities may help, defend, teach, shew & instruct me in all my honest & lawfull desires as thou hast granted to many of thy servants, through thyne eternal love & mercy who with the Father & the Holy Ghost remainest one true, glorious, good & merciful god to whom let men & Angels & all creatures in their degree & kinds sing all honour, glory, might, majesty & dominion without end, Amen.
  3. Oh holy, holy, holy, good and gracious God the Holy Spirit preceding from god the Father and the Son, I humbly implore thy holy & divine majesty, that you wouldst vouchsafe to sanctify my mind, my soul, & spirit, & all my members & faculties, of my body to the glory of god, salvation of my soul & body with a true & lively obtaining faith, hope, & charity, & that thy holy Angels with their ministering Angels may help and defend me in all adversities, & necessities, & that they may willingly & readly teach, instruct, & open & plainly shew to my sight & perfect understanding that thereby I may see, & perfectly understand, & know, all my honest & lawful requests, questions & demands that them being cited & called in the Name of god the Father, Son & Holy Ghost through the merits of our Lord + Jesus Christ our Lord & saviour who with the Father & the Holy Ghost remaineth one true infinite wise, holy, good & merciful, incomprehensible, omnipotent god, of all goodness & holy gifts, to whom let the universal world & all his creatures sing Hallelu-jah, with all honour, glory, power, might, majesty & dominion ascribed to + Elohim which is God in trinity of persons & unity of essence & a spirit & truth, & Emanuel, without end, through the merits of Jesus Christ +, Amen.
  4. Give ear to my words Oh Lord, consider my meditation, harken to the voice of my cry, my king & my God, for unto thee will I pray: let my cry come unto thee, for my soul trusteth in thee, our help & happiness is in thee, let me not be disappointed of my hope, infuse O god thy vertue into me, confirme O god what thou hast wrought in me & let my prayers be directed unto thee as incense in thy sight, & grant my humble request through the eternal love & mercie in + Jesus Christ, our Lord & saviour, Amen.

Fatima Crossroads Rite

It would seem the time has finally come to share this. Did I know this time would come? Absolutely not. To be honest, I didn’t even remember that I had written and posted this in a forum last year while in the midst of a Fatima research-hole. My honest-to-goodness assessment is that I became the temporary plaything of something bigger than myself after a big doobie one night, immortalized it on the internet, and promptly forgot entirely. Now, it would seem, a reputable magician-friend has made an earnest attempt of the rite, with the pact being reportedly accepted. This is, in my book, justification enough to share.

I adapted this working from a nine day novena and the very prayers given by Fatima herself and heralding angels. This is divided into three days for finding the right crossroads, three days to season the place, and up to three days successive attempts, but the nine is arbitrary. Obviously one could keep going until it worked, but sets of trinities are a nearly universal green light.

PART ONE

The selection of the location should be intuitive and in no way lazy. Shop around and find the right spot where you will not only be undisturbed multiple days in a row at either dawn or dusk, but a spot with which you can feel some kind of resonance. Spend three days shopping for crossroads while purifying each of those days, preferably in the morning, with either psalm 51 or rosary praxis, followed by one of these:

Litany to Our Lady of the Holy Rosary of Fatima:

Our Lady of Fatima, pray for our dear Earth and her inhabitants, both visible and invisible.

Our Lady of Fatima, guide and enlighten our clergy.

Our Lady of Fatima, fortify our faith.

Our Lady of Fatima, temper our spirit

Our Lady of Fatima, embolden your saints and angels to our aid.

Our Lady of Fatima, guide and inspire those who govern us.

Our Lady of Fatima, cure the sick who confide in thee.

Our Lady of Fatima, console the sorrowful who trust in thee.

Our Lady of Fatima, assist those who invoke your aid.

Our Lady of Fatima, deliver us from all dangers.

Our Lady of Fatima, help us to resist temptation.

Our Lady of Fatima, obtain for us all that we lovingly ask of thee.

Our Lady of Fatima, guide and protect our loved ones.

Our Lady of Fatima, bring back to the right road our erring brothers.

Our Lady of Fatima, restore us to our ancient fervor.

Our Lady of Fatima, grant for us pardon of our manifold sins and offenses.

Our Lady of Fatima, bring all men to the feet of thy Divine Child.

Our Lady of Fatima, bestow wisdom upon the world.

O Mary conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee.

Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us now and at the hour of our death. Amen.


PART TWO

The next three days, recite the following at the crossroads at either dawn or dusk (or better, both) as a way of preparing the place.

Delivered from the Angel of Peace:

My God, I believe, I adore, I trust, and I love you. I ask pardon for those who do not believe, do not adore, do not trust and do not love you.

Repeat X times, depending on how much you want this to work. Consider a full rosary, replacing Hail Mary’s with more of the above prayer.

Our Father x3

Hail Mary x3

Glory Be x3

(Optional – Our Lady of Fatima seemed to like the idea of sacrifice and told the children “When you make some sacrifice, say ‘O Jesus, it is for your love, for the conversion of sinners, and in reparation for sins committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary.’” So if you’re into asceticism, it’s something to consider.)

Close with:

O God of infinite goodness and mercy, fill our hearts with a great confidence in Thy Dear Mother, whom we invoke under the title of Our Lady of the Rosary and our Lady of Fatima, and grant us by her powerful intercession all the graces, spiritual and temporal, which we need. Through Christ our Lord. Amen, Amen, Amen.

PART THREE

The final three days will be spent summoning at the crossroads at dawn or dusk with a rosary using a Fatimized ‘glory be’ to make a rosebush, followed by another 50 classic Hail Mary’s if needed. Play with this. Perhaps one works better for you.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit,

O my Jesus, pardon us, save us from the fires of hell.

Lead all souls to heaven, especially those in most need of thy mercy,

Both now and always, and unto the ages of ages. Amen.

If she shows up, it’s worth considering that at the first apparition Lúcia wrote that the children were so moved by the radiance that they involuntarily said:

Most Holy Trinity, I adore you! My God, my God, I love you in the Most Blessed Sacrament.

The Pact:

(previously Nine Day Fatima Novena Prayer)

O Queen of the Most Holy Rosary, you deigned to come to Fatima to reveal to the three shepherd children the treasures of graces hidden in the Rosary. Inspire our hearts with a sincere love of this devotion, so that by meditating on the mysteries of our redemption that are recalled in it, we may gather its fruits, obtain peace for the world, the conversion of sinners, the restoration of the right relations, and the favor which I ask of you in this Novena, (state your request here) , upon fulfillment of which I hereby vow to plant you a rose garden with size and beauty respective to that of the fulfilled favor, and to always speak true of your miracles when asked. I ask this for the greater glory of God, for your own honor, and for the good of all souls, especially those in most need of thy mercy. Amen.

Let us Pray: O God of infinite goodness and mercy, fill our hearts with a great confidence in Thy Dear Mother, whom we invoke under the title of Our Lady of the Rosary and our Lady of Fatima, and grant us by her powerful intercession all the graces, spiritual and temporal, which we need. Through Christ our Lord, Amen, Amen, Amen.

Walk away reciting our fathers and do not look back.

It’s Personal

It’s been a while. How have you been? I’m sorry I’ve been so bad about keeping in touch. It’s been a very strange year. I’m sure you can relate if you’re also human. I imagine we’ve all been going through some deeply personal experiences in myriad forms, both outside, and in, irrevocably blurring the dividing line we were taught to imagine separates them, and bringing a different reality into view. 

So much has happened and I’ve been trying to sort out just why I haven’t written, which has opened up a fresh can of questions regarding the point of this blog and sharing things publicly, in general. The horrifying astrological configurations this year are reflections of tides and cycles in the causal, literal world; very real powers, in the face of whom we can only hope to appease, ride, or get out of the way. It would seem as though at times where we are collectively wading through the shit together, the sharing of personal experiences, trials, tricks, and triumphs would be exponentially more relevant and important. 

So why then? Why has my gut feeling been that radio silence has been almost necessary for so long? Part of it is that my life has never been so good. Sharing that feels almost inappropriate when so many are having a terrible time. But with the difficult stuff, it’s been exactly what I said earlier: Personal. Which is exactly why I’m going to share some of it: Because I’m a little scared to.

I recently had some very intense and major “energy” work done that revealed something behind my left shoulder, on my back. A bubble pushing on my left back shoulderblade. Imagine a twisted balloon, the smaller bubble being a part of myself which I had, at some point, made a choice to cut off from the flow of my conscious being. As my practitioner friend and I isolated it with our combined focus, I began to notice that the pains in my arm, shoulder, and back that had been there chronically hurting for years, began to intensify and eventually lift off of my skin slightly. My friend then said they were seeing the aforementioned bubbles, then the small one breaking the seal and being reabsorbed into the larger one as a whole. They said, upon further meditation, that it was a big masculine energy that I had chosen to “turn in on myself” as a means of preventing the possibility of any output of toxic masculinity, and that while this was a somewhat noble action, this was not an healthy or sustainable flow pattern. They told me I was strong enough to hold it now, that I had earned it. They then told me to bring it into my heart chakra and “love it.” 

My initial internal reaction was to complain that I wasn’t sure how to do that, but something in me took over and just did it. Then, for a moment, I became genuinely frightened having this agitated intensely masculine force burning and twitching in my chest, but I did somehow find the capacity to see it as a wounded thing and simply love it. This took a few moments, but eventually it stopped twitching, cooled slightly, and held a steady warmth. Then it expanded downwards filling the lower areas of my Orphic egg/energy body/whatever you wanna cal it. This sensation was truly astounding. It was as if I had anchored in to the earth and connected to a strength I hadn’t known in years. And it was about this time that I noticed my shoulder and upper back on my left side, a source of torment for over a decade despite numerous chiropractor visits, exercises, massages, and prayers, or more accurately noticed that I wasn’t noticing it in any pain. The source of that pain had been relieved. It was around that time I realized that I had been crying. It felt like I was embracing an old friend whom I not only thought was dead, but had altogether forgotten their existence. That was three weeks ago or so and my neck and back are still 90% healed, with residual tension and physical damage correcting itself as time goes onward. But those three weeks were no picnic.

It turns out that the part of me I reassimilated had not been encoded with any of the lessons or temperences I have been enriched by in the years since our disconnect. Imagine suddenly having a version of yourself talking to you in your head, commenting on fucking everything, and that version of you is ten or twenty years younger. The selfish, ignorant, destructive bullshit tendencies and worldviews of a younger you just haunting the living shit out of you. So what did I do? I talked to him gently every time and said “Look, we did it. We can do things this way now. Isn’t that nice?” And never once did he protest, but gladly and immediately re-patterned to the new, better way of being/thinking which was before him. This still took a few weeks, but the process is pretty much complete now.

So why am I sharing all this? Well, because I know as well as anybody that this sort of thing can be very difficult to believe sometimes, even when you’re in it. And perhaps my story or my ways of coping with something like this could come in handy for someone else. Or let them know they’re not crazy.

Also, because I want to start writing again. One thing that really helped me figure out what this blog is for was receiving the upcoming bill to keep the lights on here at reverendjanglebones.com for one more year. Turns out, it’s for whatever I want. And what I want right now is to do whatever I can to be helpful, even if that just means sharing what I’ve been wading through lately and hoping it lands for somebody out there.

Anyway, thanks for listening. 

Redefine, Man..

I never much identified with other boys or men growing up, at least not any that I met in the waking world of direct and tangible consequences. Sure, I spent some of the countless daydreaming hours of childhood in roles that were decidedly masculine such as saving princesses or leveling battlefields single-handedly, but in most cases I was riding my dragon friend, exploring fantastic new worlds, hanging on every moment of my imaginal high-adventures and even in those hetero-boy dreams the enemies I was leveling were representations of phenomena I was gleaming from waking life observations about human habit and character, and the princess was almost always a swashbuckler like myself. It was not uncommon for me to imagine myself being saved by said princess-wizard or princess-witch, or even princess lizard-warrior-person; whatever I was into that week. I think it was about the intimacy of trust and surrender, more than anything; things I couldn’t find in waking life when I was young.

My brief foray into team sports was forced upon me and consisted of a constant barrage of the very worst of homophobic slurs and hate-speech and a whole lot of chewed-up sunflower seeds projectile-launched into my hair and face, all straight from the mouths of creatures who called themselves “boys” but seemed to me more like mistakes that we had collectively made as a species and a prime directive for birth control for future generations of forward thinkers. Yes, I was that cynical when I was twelve.

Years went by and there was a brief time when I thought it reasoned out for me to forego the title of “man” altogether. Gender-fluidity is an attractive creature. We are all a compilation, an unique master-cut gem composed of varying quantities of elements and minerals, forever blessed with striking the eye differently depending on the light, depending on the angle. In this sense gender fluidity is more honest and more accurate for every human person, but eventually it occurred to me that this distinction is only necessary due to the horrific reduction of “male” and “female” down to an harmful obtuseness, an archetype to which autocratic control of the idea is relinquished.

I mean to say that I could take a stance on the way “men” are overwhelmingly problematic by refusing to identify as one, but therein lies a failure on my part be active within the solution: I disagree with, and take offense to, the common conception of what a “man” looks and acts like, but when I choose to identify as something else all my efforts to re-pattern are no longer working towards the reformation of that definition of man. In essence, it’s just easier for me to abandon the man-ship than it is to fight that current and stand for a better idea of what men can be, how they can think of themselves, and how they can be nurturers as well as protectors. Hell, they can even still engage in psychologically healthy, culturally sensitive, well-placed violence when another man is giving us decent broheims a bad name, whether that be through physical conflict (which is another area seeming to lack an abundance of nuanced non fear-based analysis/thinking) or through strategic blog-posts and simply living well and treating others with respect and consideration (but with that secretly satisfying internal victory over all those who threw abuse in my general direction and expected me to become like them.)

I’m not asking anyone to change anything, to be clear. I just feel that this thought process has something worthwhile therein. The areas that need the most attention are the easiest to abandon, and I get that the concept of imagining a better male archetype is not a one-person job. It’s not even a one-generation job, but it’s one that inevitably needs to be done or I presume the collective spiritually conscious “we” will always be fighting the “men” in one way or another. We may not be able to change hearts and minds, but we are certainly familiar with working with ideas as living things. Perhaps that is an apt place to start. I’m not super comfortable with the versions of male archetypes that are running around in minds at-large these days and I’ll bet you’re not either, but if you believe like it do that the imaginal is a real place that is ever-presently interactive with the tangible, then we have a responsibility to start enforcing better ideas. If we abandon the masculine to the erroneous masses, we allow those archetypes to continue thrashing about throwing tantrums disguised as chivalry unchallenged and unchecked throughout the unconscious. We magicians have the upper hand in the realm because we know it’s real. Use it. Feed the good “guys.”

I know for myself Serapis has been a place to begin because, as it turns out in most cases, the fewer stories there are about a male deity the less there is to dislike.

I would love to hear about your own grapplings with masculinity in the comments. No rules just right.

Anyway, it feels good to talk about this. Because as much as I would love to just opt-out, the facts remain that I’m Man. Now it’s a question of how to nurture a non-toxic version of that and manifest it here in waking life as a collective activism and a living example to the emotionally underdeveloped, the testosterone-tweaked, and the just plain ignorant. Every domino that falls may knock two more down. Every time a decent man can show strength in vulnerability, he does the others a favor in striving for balance and providing an example. If enough of us acted as such, the tyrants could find no purchase on the climb to dominance. 

Tripping With The Locals: Plant Spirit Praxis

In the horrifyingly likely case that pandemic-monium resumes this fall and “Thou shalt stay indoors” returns to its place on the third tablet as the awkward eleventh commandment, I thought it prudent to share some outdoor summer-shorts praxis. Obviously, I would never suggest anyone do anything illegal, so know your local (enforced) laws, because this involves mushrooms. However fungi are not the focus, but the vehicle, and there’s plenty of useful praxis here without entheogens and room for substitutions and experimentation (insert cannabis here.) But this technique is for connecting with plants, after all, and who better to help out with that process than our actual ancestors and the literal plant-internet?

Now, surely throughout your time spent roaming your local wilds there have been a few majestic members of the flora that have happened to catch your attention. These are the connections this praxis is meant to explore and strengthen. That pull to one plant over another is intuition, no matter how much logical mush you drown it in. This kind of attraction often plays out in the conscious mind disguised as a rational choice, but those explanations always come secondary to the impulse. The impulse is holy, trust it. Go and find a spot outdoors where you will be comfortable sitting for at least an hour and turn off your phone. Find a spot where there is some cozy sense of invitation, perhaps a spot where you notice a couple of your aforementioned favored local plants. If not, find some you like. You don’t need to know anything about them, not even their names. Sit and listen, observe. Do nothing else for that hour. Choose one or several plants growing within your view that you noticed feeling fond of in that hour and turn your phone back on, take some pictures, and identify them later. 

Get to researching their genetic history, evolution, life stages and cycles, soil, climate and terrain preferences, associated folktales and legends across cultures, myths and lore, planetary associations, magical properties, edibility, medicinal potency, leaf patterns, root structure, and pollinators. And anything else you can think of to learn about said plants. Learn their history, as far as we know, and explore how they are believed to have been carried to where they now reside, all the places that they dwell, as told both by modern science and the peoples with whom they have cohabitated and collaborated. Learn their journey, their story.

On another day, whenever feels right to you, go back to your sitting spot and spend an hour just existing with those plants without any potential for distraction. Bring an offering if you’re so inclined. Just be there. Talk to them if you wish, but mostly be receptive. Try to contain nothing in your mind. No-thought meditation tech is ideal here. Note your emotions as you hone-in on one plant and wait in a receptive state. Do this for all of the plants you studied, one after another, cycling through. Thank them for their company and bid them farewell and feel your gratitude towards them.

Note how knowing their story changed the way you saw them. Note how you felt about each one. Write down some descriptors for each plant and keep that list for later additions.

Whenever you are ready, return to your spot with offerings for the land, and mushrooms, water, and some post-journey fruit for yourself. Milk and honey, fresh fruit, bread, and juice are all excellent land-spirit offerings in my experience, but go with your instinct if it should protest. I recommend 1 – 2 grams for this because a microdose is not quite enough liftoff and a full dose is a bigger commitment (and may end up not being about the plants at all.) A threshold dose is still manageable but with ample boosting of connectivity from our fungi friends.

Essentially, repeat the second visit. Meditating on the way in to the experience is unbelievably beneficial, but once you’re centered, begin to silence your feelings and listen, listen, listen. Plants often project emotions instead of reciting prose, so that bit matters. See if a plant reaches out to you first. If not, send feelings of love and warmth and see what happens. You’re on your own at this point. Experiment.

Thank the spirits of place and record your notes while the experience is still fresh. Your revelations may blow away in a breeze like a dream in the morning lest you wait too long to record them. How did your experience align with what you learned about the plants in your studies? Were they feisty or friendly? Warm or cold? Was there texture, sound, or color? Regarding any details you add to your list from this third visit, be sure to thank the fungi for facilitating those insights.

I hope this is useful to a few of you beautiful wyrdos, you tormentors of the archons. As always, share in the comments. Be safe, shit crazy. ❤

Resistance, The Shadow, & Ethical Malefica

It seems obvious that any time someone compulsively avoids an issue it’s because there is something present within or connected to the issue of which they are afraid or by which they’ve been traumatized. Sometimes that’s due to the action of others, sometimes our own foolish folly. In either case what we find is a partition between the actively aware self and some dark corner of the mind. It reminds me of instances where a parent loses a child and seals up their room as a sort of museum shrine to their lost beloved offspring. The rest of the world keeps changing with age and experience, but the room becomes an out-of-place fixed anomaly, which in turn can become a petri dish for less-than-pleasant phenomena. So too goes the shadow.

My first experience with my shadow was when I was 18 years old and in Florida. One of my best friends had stopped by, distraught over yet another argument with his long-time girlfriend (for eighteen year-olds anyway) who was quite clairvoyant, but had little control and was often tormented by her abilities. My friend and I decided to go to the beach, but at his request we drove an extra fifteen minutes to an access point we rarely frequented and parked far back in the dunes where the car would be hidden from potential friends driving by in our small town, where everyone (and their cars) were overly familiar and recognizable. It was no more than forty minutes later that his girlfriend came walking up behind us along the shore, now nearly a mile up the beach from the car, asking him if they could talk, as if there was nothing strange about any of this whatsoever. 

After they had talked (for a teenage relationship’s length of time) I approached her about the only thing on my mind the whole time I waited: How the fuck did she know where we were? 

Her casual reply when I asked her was, “Your little boy told me, the one that lives in your yard.”

Of course, I started to shake. Sure, this would have been urine-inducing enough on its own, but add to that my experiences within the month or so leading up to this conversation, the ones where I knew I was being watched regularly at night when I was out on the screened-in porch, and I was lucky to have nothing but salty air on my shorts. I had also, within the couple of weeks prior, experienced an escalation. I was getting rocks thrown at me from the exact spot it seemed I was being watched from; a stand of three palm trees and a wild patch of Florida brush beneath. And what’s more, I had also felt that it was most assuredly a young boy. 

“He’s mad at you. He doesn’t want to be ignored, don’t be afraid of him.” She said.

Having zero evidence to the contrary, I took her advice with total conviction and much apprehension. I went home and I mowed that wild patch. And I put some potted jade and a couple trinkets down there, along with a lawn chair and an official address in which I fumbled over every word, terrified that the neighbors, or worse my mother, could see or hear me performing this seemingly insane ritual action. Nothing noticeable happened except that I felt a little more crazy. At least, until the next time I was out on the porch at night. Where before there was the thick fog of an ominous and envious gazenow it felt fine happy even, though still not entirely healthy or free of presence. When I looked over at that spot it felt like someone winking at me, still imbalanced, but no longer bitter and jealous for attention.

In the following year it became apparent to me that I had been attempting to separate from my inner-child because at that time in my life my inner-child represented a threat to my well-being. For me at that time, survival seemed dependent on the sacrificing of the inner-child for the sake of functioning in a nightmarish soul-sucking workforce when all I cared to ever do was create. Combine that with male adolescence in a social climate where toxic masculinity seemed an exclusive option and you have one sad puppy who doesn’t feel allowed to express any sadness. When placed in the proper context, nothing about any of this is surprising.

It fascinates me to this day that my inner-child was throwing rocks at me, having been twisted into a shadow by my miscalculated judgement and misdirected survival instincts, but that is exactly what happened. This was a special kind of experience. One where because others were a part of it, it cannot be unconfirmed in my mind no matter how much time or distance comes between me, here in the ever-living now, and the boy on that beach.

I wish I could say that I was suddenly adept at identifying and integrating my shadow, but I had barely yet begun creating it at that time in my life. Just as eventually the mother redecorates the bedroom and begins the arduous work of healing, so too have I now done so with more emotional trauma and self delusion than I ever thought myself resilient enough to endure. 

All this leads me to the current climate and the question of ethical malefics. Allow me to explain, but first we need to take a slight detour that turns into an on-ramp. Come along.

Now, to anyone who disagrees with malintent, be it through magic, physical force, psychological manipulation etc.; How would you feel about someone murdering your child or partner? What about emotional abuse or manipulation? Are you actually opposed to retribution itself, or is it more the issue of losing yourself in the indulgence of revenge? What about real-time self-defense?

As was elucidated in the video this too is a symptom of the shadow, albeit a much more deeply seated one than with which most people are used to working. But that doesn’t mean some don’t dare to delve that deeply into the depths. Some have no choice. And I would argue, as Jordan Peterson did, that this can be one of the most difficult aspects of the self to dissolve and reintegrate and those who have done so are worthy of respect, but what’s more this seems the only possible way of accessing the realms of necessary resistance without falling into warped emotional reward systems in relation to resistance or violence. Retribution is not sononymous with vengeance.

What if you have done all that inner work, dissolution and coagulation, with aggression like I did with my inner-child? What if you’re entirely comfortable with your moral boundaries and know that when you seek justice it is not out of an imbalanced emotional need? Why couldn’t a release of justified rage be controlled and focused on an outcome that is an appropriate outlet for that feeling rather than repressing or redirecting it? Certainly I wouldn’t want to hurt anyone (on good days) but something like “Those who swore to uphold the law shall be judged by it.” certainly wouldn’t be putting anyone in harm’s way that doesn’t absolutely deserve it. Perhaps it has no effect other than being the correct place to release that anger, but perhaps that is okay too. If outrage isn’t properly worked through it will spill out into portions of our lives in which it has no business whatsoever, and if focusing that outrage back onto the cause through magic has even a slight chance of efficacy, then why the hell not? As long as it’s genuine and not some social justice piece for your own self-propagandization.

That last question was not rhetorical. I want to hear your thoughts.

Be safe out there and take care of each other. You’re irreplaceable.

So Many Names: Venus Rx

In the first of at-least-more-than-one Venus retrograde posts, I’m doing a little dedication in hopes of remediation. Please enjoy this Lady In The Underworld-sympathetic playlist. I’ve been working on it since last friday. Most of these are a little on-the-nose in a very deliberate way. The idea is that we find ourselves contemplating her journey at this time while falling into the emotions of directly correlating lyrics and music. The experience becomes the offering.

Please enjoy. Or suffer. Whatever is best right now. I trust your judgement.

And turn shuffle off, you monsters.

I decided to stop boiling with rage at the failure to embed, so you can just click this whole sentence.

In Technocratic Modernity, Habit Forms You

Habits. The bad ones seem to arrive suddenly like intruders in the night, until you begin to notice the signs of their presence dating back to before even so much as a suspicion stirred within. The good ones are trophies that didn’t come without a hard fight, but more like degree certificates than second place at regionals. The bad ones are the behavioral equivalent to Frankenstein’s monster.

It seems to me that most people find it more manageable to enact a strategy of self-indoctrination than reduction, intentionally attempting to cultivate helpful habits rather than actively prevent negative ones. It seems there is a resting (and rather unexamined) belief that if good habits occupy a certain portion of our conscious lives then we will have created an inhospitable environment for unhelpful habits to form, like antibodies. There are obviously cases where this is true, but generally speaking you are not a secure system no matter what you do. We’re far too complicated and too mortal for that matter, but especially in our minds which are forever an open system, even in quarantine.

Take, for instance, visualization. Any spiritual practitioner is aware of the vast improvements to this skill that comes over time, but what happens when this skill is plugged directly into constant thoughts of maintaining physical barriers and caution around all humans at all times? Reinforcing an imaginal bubble will put you in a cognitive one. What happens when the impulse to hug a friend is inextricably linked, through time and conditioning, with a guilt response? Are you comfortable with hugs meaning heresy? A failure to follow the cognitive and emotional consequences down to the depths of their seriousness is undoubtedly a side effect of materialist thinking. In official reality, the interiority doesn’t matter until it’s so unhealthy that it’s directly influencing the exterior world, typically though violence or dissent. The internal conditions that create these states are ignored or brushed aside, marginalized until they demand attention. Why? Because they’re invisible.

Yes, we’re apparently toddlers.

Each cognitive experience we have shapes us. We are a result of our lives, at least more so than the other way around, and even with the good habits in place we are being asked to intentionally create some very very bad ones at this time as a matter of civic duty. If not, you’re letting the whole world down and potentially a threat to the state. Yes, these bad habits are going to save some lives, but distance from other humans on a long enough timeline would be a conscious decision by the human species to put safety above literally everything else that defines us, safety that is entirely illusory from the start. This judgement call places the loss of human life as the worst possible fate imaginable. Death, the first and absolutely most natural requirement of life, is viewed en-mass by our society as the worst thing that can happen. Not the loss of our humanity.

This all stinks so heavily of a collective festering unattended fear of death that I’m worried it’s going to frighten the children. The problem is that the lack of peace made with an inevitable end causes all kinds of strange psychic and metaphysical phenomena to manifest in the intense avoidance thereof. These complexes are now being collectively shoved down our throats as we’re declared traitors if we don’t sing along.

You’re going to die. If you’re comfortable with that, then you have my sincere and total thanks. Perhaps trying to talk to others about death in a non-covid context could open doors to helpful discussions. Perhaps not. But isn’t it worth gently trying? Just remember the operative word there is “gently.” I’m also open to ideas here. Pease, by all means, leave us your thoughts. Donate a feeling in the comments section. No wrong answers, folks. Do you have any ani-SD tech to share with the class?

Well, I don’t know about you, but I just don’t give two fucks about living in a world without hugs. I’m playing along though, humming and cursing under my mask and reminding myself that there are a great many fates worse than death.

Hang in there and beware the mindfulness you’re not as mindful of.

Art by Heintje

You Can’t Kill Your Shadow But You Can Make It Your Bitch

There are a great many ways one can work with their shadow, and a few variations of what that even means. I’m not, however, speaking from any perspective except my own unfortunately hard-won first-person here, but you should have an idea of what that means before we continue. 

I spent enough time chasing the chemical uplift of some of the most aggressively addictive varieties ever weaponized by human hands that nearly the entirety of my being was bent towards the manipulation of feelings and the monopolization of the resources of others, always campaigning my propaganda for the next pack of lies. The metaphysical knots that constant denial, guilt, self-loathing, and general warping of consciousness tie a person up in aren’t exactly the bows on your shoelaces (if they were they’d be tied together and tossed over a power line.) But there is truly no limit to how far back to the other side one can swing. Back to hope, connection, involvement. I’m living proof. Sure, I’m still broke, but I’m happy. 

And wasn’t that the whole point all along? As it turns out it was. It is. And one of the ways I combat the layers of leftover patterning that are ripe for the sloughing is to haunt the living shit out of my shadow. This is far less creepy than it sounds, and also far creepier, but incredibly effective once the ball gets rolling. 

We all do and say things from time to time that make our cheeks hot, our stomachs rise, and our hearts sink. We all experience the utter horror of observing the self acting a fool at times, and in these moments we have tendency to beat ourselves senseless in ill-conceived strategies of self-discipline such as chastisement and verbal abuse. 

Instead, I propose a cease-fire. Our egos are nothing more than survival programs running amok because we don’t have proper initiation rites or shamanic healing in most sections of the Western spiritual supermarket, nor sufficient training (and social acceptance thereof) to provide the tools for reprogramming our personal AI in order to regain it’s processing abilities as our asset.

Did you see what I did there? Somehow “ego” carries something more personal with it, doesn’t it? Ego is thought of as contained within us. If we look at the embarrassing decisions we make based on fear as our AI simply behaving like ill-programed protection software, suddenly there’s much needed emotional distance present and we find less inclination to slip into verbal flagellation. Far more genuine interest in understanding this strange phenomenon that so often gets mistaken for ‘I’ becomes instantly available and without the association of moments of blunder within the core self, there is no connection point for the self-deprecation to associate internally. 

Just simply notice every time you feel you’ve said something ingenuine. Take a little note when you hear yourself lie unnecessarily. If you can feel your conscience being shoved in a cupboard, pause, breathe, and listen. Sit right there in that moment where your feelings are, right when they happen. You’ll begin to get a sense, over time, for what kind of person your shadow is, as it becomes defined by the impulses which are intentionally prevented from manifesting. It’s likely that you think that you know exactly what the darker sides of yourself are like already, but it’s always more complicated than you think, more nuanced.

At first, catching that these moments happen at all is sometimes difficult, but eventually the turnaround is just a few moments. Then, after a little more practice only a few seconds, and eventually they become second-nature to see coming ahead of time. The real trick is to catch yourself in moments of careless deed or tongue red-handed, prevent that action from taking place, and allow the shadow (the origin of the impulse to have acted in some less-than-desirable manor) to play out as it intended in your imagination. Just sit back and watch your dark side do something shitty from the comfort of a better now. I guarantee the threads you pull will lead to trauma that isn’t nearly as difficult to heal as it is to face.

Following these threads can unlock a fair amount of closeted scaries, but that closet is really not that big to begin with. We all have some sprucing up and airing out to do from time to time and I find it much easier to allow the shadow its room to act as it is compelled to rather than attempt to deny or stifle a force of nature. Often it’s the observations within the conscious mind (and the gratitude that comes with opting out of some dick move) that jolts our AI into making alterations to its protocol. That is, our observations differentiate which parts are ego, which are shadow, and give both the space to exist, but on our terms.

I, personally, like to watch my inner monster keep on talking in my imaginal realm as I roll my eyes, look over at my ancestors, and proclaim with a thumb gesturing, 

That fuckin’ guy…”