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…”

Suicides & Synchronicities

There seems to be some strange assumption, when we think of old friends we’ve lost touch with, that they’re probably doing just fine. Maybe even better than we are. That was the assumption I was under when I heard the news that a beloved friend had chosen to end their life. I’m not telling their story today, as I am severely under qualified to do so. No, I’m only telling my own role in the strange events following this unfortunate end to a young and brilliant life: I’m telling the story of how one suicide ended up preventing another one through logic that is altogether non-human.

When I got the call that this friend had exited the material world I was still running ragged; 115 lbs wet, no hope, and a center-console full of empty baggies and broken crack pipes. Even through the fog of rampant addiction I very much felt the impact of this loss, though I did not have any capacity for facing or working through it at the time. 

This was summer. The memorial, I found out, was scheduled for fall.

By the time the date was drawing near I had lost my entire world to addiction, moved back in with family, and accumulated six months clean-time. Getting to see that group of old friends and mourning with them was one of the most important events of my life, and to no surprise; our times together when we were younger were equally as significant. But that is not part of this story, either.

The best friend of the departed had a sister, and that sister and I had chemistry. Our conversation didn’t stop for several months after returning to our home states and towns, her and I. She ended up proposing to me, to which I agreed. It wasn’t the kind of thing where you know it’s a good idea. In fact, it felt a little silly even at the time, but my heart was telling me something very clearly and plainly throughout the duration of that relationship. My heart was saying “You’ll be sorry if you don’t.” 

This is not the usual fodder my heart spouts to my brain. This was an anomaly. I’m used to a heart that yells out grand declarations while inebriated as others are trying to have conversation.

But then we fast forward to Thanksgiving a couple months later and she’s meeting my family. Fast forward to Christmas time drawing in and I’m getting ready to go spend the holiday with hers.

I’m nervous. I’m anxious. I know that it will all be okay, though, once I see her face and feel that connection that had been powerful enough to sustain me for months with a thousand miles between us. Except when I saw her, at home in this world utterly foreign to me, I noticed within the first few seconds that the connection was gone. Vanished. 

Abracadabra.

I did my best to maintain, but she would not connect. She outright refused to. Here I am a few states from home, hours of bus ride from any kind of safe place, in the livingroom of a family I don’t know, and the woman that asked me to marry her only a month prior was treating me like an indigent phantom limb. 

I spent three days in this living hell, all the while she maintained that nothing was wrong and that I was being, basically, crazy before finally ending things with a ten-cent breakup excuse and leaving me alone in an Airbnb to peacefully enjoy the walls closing in.

That night I almost relapsed. I wanted to. I could feel pure sorrow and anguish swirling around me in geometrical patterns. I felt so close very to God. I was not, however, going to let this bullshit steal my clean, so I mustered up the guts to call someone. Maybe the only someone that could have helped me at that moment, someone that I had known almost my entire life and with whom I had been through hell. Someone that never picks up the phone on the first try. But this time, they did. And they were so very good and kind to me that I made it through that night without doing anything stupid whatsoever.

The next morning I received a message from this old friend, the one that saved me the night before. We hadn’t spoken much at all around that time and you can imagine the surprise, the mind-melting gratitude, the reality-bending record-scratch that the following data incited.

As it turned out, the friend who answered the phone, the one I thought was saving my life the night before, was on their way to end their own life when they answered my call. If i hadn’t called them right then, as they explained, at that exact time and on that exact day, they would not be with us now, today. 

I followed my heart when it didn’t make sense and someone truly precious to me still walks the Earth as a result. I guess I’m sharing this because we should all be aware. No matter what the critics say (and that includes the self): listen to your heart. You may be much, much more sorry if you don’t.

Springtime Pandemic Blues

In honor of Venus, on this Friday I’ve used the magic of the internet to feel connected to the rest of you out there in the world by sharing this curated musical experience.

This is hard, y’all. In so many different ways for each and every one of us. I guess I feel rather helpless right now, as I’m sure many of us do, and this is the best way of commiserating that I can can come up with right now; Sharing the feels. Long-distance empathy.

I hope it works like medicine. Hang in there.

Dildos & Other Essential Items

As I watched the latest episode of Last Week Tonight transmitted to one isolated room from another, I expected to find a usual creature-comfort in the familiar voice of a caring, humanist television show-host, but even the usual haunts for comfort seem to be… well, haunted. 

The video of the man protesting Amazon for shipping non-essential items such as dildos, a word which he seemed to very much enjoy saying to a TV camera, was used as an example of presumably agreeable, and maybe even righteous outrage. John Oliver completely agrees: Amazon should not be shipping non-essential items at the expense of the health of their employees, their families, and those on either end of said deliveries.

But.. what exactly is a non-essential item? Who gets to determine the parameters of this classification and how much empathy do they have for those living with mental health conditions and behavioral disorders? Do they consider emotional well-being an essential? What about our health? Not prescription big-medicine stuff, but the thousands-of-years-old technologies of preventative medicine, including adequate time outdoors amongst the wilderness, exercise, and possibly the most crucial lynchpin in the delicate machine of human sanity: Interaction. We need it even when we’re healthy and happy and there are many people out there who aren’t either of those things on their best day. There are many who don’t have anyone at home and have no job to distract them. And what of them? Are the suicide risks less in number than the Covid deaths and is risk-assessment/loss-prevention and data analysis even the right way to make these decisions? Roughly 40,000 Americans commit suicide per year. How many more will it be this year?

Somewhere in a room there are a group of people, probably all white and male, who get to decide these things, but we all know what a world of essential items only looks like on a longer timeline.

Millions are out of work and we haven’t even begun to see the fallout from the relief loans taking longer than small businesses can manage to hang on in the interim. Not to mention the intentionally unrealistic requirement of keeping all your employees on payroll if you don’t want to pay the loans back.

I think what hurts the most is that the projected number of deaths in the U.S. is down to a low of 60,000 from an original 2 million, putting this pandemic on the scale of a normal-to-heavy flu season. And 80% of the deaths in the US, at this time, had preexisting conditions. So why didn’t we just isolate everybody with preexisting conditions instead of shutting down the whole world and causing another financial crisis complete with total bailouts for big business and maybe-if-you’re-good grants for small timers? I know this not. It’s impossible to even gleam a clue from the downright assault on sensory input and the constant shifting of numbers and positions that is keeping us all hyper-vigilant.

Meanwhile the richest (and nearly tax-exempt) commercial distributer the world has ever known is making every single dollar your local business is missing out on and Jeff is not inviting you to the Mars base.

The good news is, I’m not the only one feeling like an alien and you’re not the only one who believes that you need that dildo. I believe in your needs. We agree that what is inside of us and invisible must be cared for and tended to, that our interiority truly matters. That being said, there must be a lot of consideration that goes into the decision to put an Amazon delivery-person’s life on the line for your orgasm, but I trust your judgement. And the man protesting in the video didn’t want the employees’ health to be at risk, but he was somehow fine with Bezos taking them hostage in this can’t-afford-not-to-work scenario.

There are a lot of angles to consider here, but the only things I’m sure of is that the guy protesting  in the parking lot isn’t helping anybody and Last Week Tonight gets their news from the same untrustworthy torrent of manipulation that the majority of people do. From one isolated room to another, to another, to another. Who know what splendors lie beyond these cold walls?

That was rhetorical.

Tread lightly everybody. Go for a jog in the other side’s shoes, if for no other reason than the valuable exercise. Admit it to yourself and others if you can do without something and avoid unnecessary risks, but speak up for goodness sake if you really need that dildo.

Until next time. I hope I could make you smile today.

All Those Felonies Saved My Life

Ever since Nixon was in office, the hippies were hugging, and various black-ops projects on psy research were chugging along full-steam, perspective enhancing substances (whether or not they themselves are alive and have agency) have been on the shelf labeled “DO NOT TOUCH” and “POISON.” Two audacious proclamations; The first, a command that seems antithetical in a world full of plants presumed by most lawmakers to have been created by an omnipotent deity. The second, a lie. 

Propaganda, to be more precise. But we now know, as almost common household knowledge, that hallucinogens (a problematic term) can be, essentially, miracle drugs in some cases. 

Appropriate set-and-setting in harmony with appropriate dosage of entheogens (a far better term, thanks Wasson/Hoffman/Ruck et al.) is proving clinically and empirically to treat depression, PTSD, and addiction.

This is where I come in. Two years ago from this very point in time I was regularly using heroin and crack; an almost entirely unrecognizable human creature from the one writing this today. And most of the perspective needed to undertake the unimaginable amounts of healing and growth I had to face when choosing a better reality was made possible because of mushrooms.

Obviously, they don’t get all the credit. I mean, I did have to lose everything in the wake of the walking disaster that was myself in order to prompt the realization that my reality could, in fact, change. But when your brain is literally damaged and you don’t remember what it’s like to feel much of anything outside of a small spectrum, that initial epiphany is not enough to maintain a path toward health. And 12-step meetings, for me, were always torture. Hearing stories from dudes still kicking in the meeting was always just a window into a world where the high still existed, and could thus be acquired. I mean, hell, that guy had some yesterday. Cognitively re-living the same horror did not lead me to freedom, so I didn’t go back this time.

I have since found that I don’t need them to maintain my perspective anymore, but for the crucial stages of recovery, mushrooms it was. I would mostly microdose to get a sense of being “beside myself” in order to gleam a glance at patterns that needed changing. I could work on them if I could see them. And every once in a while it seemed necessary to undergo a more intense communion with the fungus. 

After we had made a significant amount of progress together they quite literally arranged a meeting, to my utter surprise, between myself and Kali Ma. The deconstruction and reconstruction process since has been far smoother, if not just as difficult, but I feel safe, loved, and cared for by a being that has proven her existence beyond time. That’s something!

I find it endlessly fascinating that the fungi introduced me to exactly who I needed to meet. Saturn, Venus, Mercury, and Pluto are in Scorpio on my birth chart (and my natal Sun is only a day from the cusp,) I steam from the ears when women are disrespected (even in that innocent-negligence way, bruh,) and I do not learn quickly or easily; I have to touch the iron myself. The powerful and fearsome body-parts-as-clothing four-armed demon-slaying goddess of Shakti was the teacher I needed and the mushrooms presented me to her without my prompting them for anything other than whatever they thought was best at the time.

I also find it endlessly fascinating that all of this, the healing of my family relationships, starting college for the first time, getting back into my spiritual practice, writing this blog, owning up to my “life-contracts” (as in the ones we make before we come here,) this metamorphosis was all made possible by a thousand little felonies.

I was a criminal when I was useless, and I had to remain one to get better. 

And nobody can change the irrefutable fact that all those felonies saved my life.

Passover to Panspermia in One Very Hot Take

“Man should not live on bread alone. And also sometimes, fuck bread.” -God.

Growing up in a Christian cult, I was lucky enough to participate in many an Old Testament holiday. That’s right; Christmas, Halloween, Easter, birthdays, and anything remotely glistening with festive innocence was dragged kicking and screaming into the spotlight of historical and dogmatic scrutiny and deemed pagan and forbidden. Because nothing says childhood like cynical asceticism. No, I didn’t get fun holidays. I got things like fasting.

This would have all been a boon to my ritually-inclined side if there had been any sort of coherence to the logic behind these rituals that seemed to serve no purpose other than self-punishment, but for little-bitty-Brian, there were no such reasons. I was offered no explanation that fasting, for instance, induced altered states, but instead given a flimsy logic involving frailty and dependence. There was never any sign in my father or mother’s eyes that it made sense to them, only a sense of duty and expectation. Like with taxes.

Even now that I am fully-grown and have my own practice full of ritual, I thought it might provide a way-in to a means of understanding these customs, but Passover was two nights ago and as I helped my grandmother put all the leavened food in a trash bag (one that would not go into the compost pile due to nuanced biblical law but be sent to the landfill to rot amongst non-biodegradables) I couldn’t help but fall into analysis.

The idea of this holy holiday, as I was always taught, is that yeast represents our sin and that for the sake of a ritual exercise, we will expel all sin from our property and lives in order to better understand what it will be like when Christ returns. Now, even if I ignore the irrefutable fact that from a cognitive sensory perspective this essentially equates Jesus’ comeback story with a removal of variety and enjoyment, I cannot ignore the audacity of both referring to something as ubiquitous and ethereally present as yeast as “sin” nor can I fathom what possesses the keepers of this holiday into thinking that something floating in the air around us all the time can ever be purged. You’re literally breathing it, even when you choose to eat flatbread for one week.

Yeast is our friend. The baker is it’s business partner and many of yeasts’ relatives keep your belly producing the right amounts of dopamine. Yeasts are actually fungi and I could literally write a  book (and I am) about the occult relationship between humans and fungi, and I’m not even talking about psilocybin here. Just fungi. The stuff that almost definitely came here from space and transmuted the rock into nutrients for bacteria and eventually plants to thrive on. I’m supposed to equate that with sin? 

In my mind, the numerous myths about the earth-mother or goddess sending forth a spirit to shape the land, a spirit of breath or air, does little in the way of excluding yeast from this perfect world when we consider that it’s ancestors likely shaped this world for us. There is a popular theory that water first came to Earth in the form of a giant frozen ice-cube, we already know that spores can survive being frozen, and some can even survive the vacuum of space. So let’s take a look at a popular story amongst practitioners of this yeast-banishing holiday, just for the sake of occulted perspective, from the viewpoint of the consciousness of the fungi itself, just floating in a block of ice near it’s spores and looking for a place to create a world. Remember ‘waters’ can be frozen and ‘without form and void’ could easily describe the planet pre-H2O.

“In the beginning, God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.”

Now what happens when that consciousness in a chunk of ice careening towards our solar system feels the warmth of our sun? After all, you can’t have biological life without heat as far as we know.

“And God saw the light, that it was good. And God divided the light from the darkness.”

Now, if you are floating in space, it would always be daytime. But the second you descend to earth, from your perspective, you would have “created” night and day by “separating” the light from the dark through a change in vantage point.

Then, skipping to verse 6, we get some insight into what it would have been like in the very first days of mushy, water-filled Earth. Hundreds of thousands of years of chemical reactions, gasses forming and expelling, water sinking deeper into the earth before boiling back up into the atmosphere. This was one of the most violent and crazy times on the face of this planet, as the water cycle found its groove.

“And God said, let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters. And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so.”

And now we have rain, snow, clouds, etc. Due to some findings in 2019, scientists are fairly certain that fungi crawled onto the land long before the beginnings of plants or animals did thus juxtaposing my Genesis thought-experiment with the various messages transmitted to Terrence McKenna by the mushroom consciousness telling the exact same story. Look it up.

Feel free to follow the rest of genesis through the evolution of plants, then animals, and then finally the break in ice ages with God “resting,” and all the while it’s far too easy to imagine yeast’s common ancestor observing the whole thing unfolding through an experience of time that is wholly unlike our own. Anyone who has communed with mushrooms knows that time is not the same for them and they enjoy showing this off to us monkeys.

All it would take is one person on a meal’s worth of psilocybe asking to be shown where we came from, then passing that story on orally until it became doctrine many generations after it was first told. I probably would have called the voice “God” too after an experience like that.

Back to here and now, as I watched the yeasts being demonized and my grandparents seeming to act more out of obligation to rules they don’t need to understand in order to follow, I realized exactly what ritual means to me. The occulted relationships between us and other living things, like yeasts, already have stories present. Vast, rich stories that tell the true-true of our relationality. When we go ascribing meaning all willy-nilly it’s no different than interspecies racism.

Truly, and above everything else, ritual is about what makes sense to me and making a pariah out of the being that may have actually done all that legwork just doesn’t. The spirit of the power of the air just might be the same one that makes your bread rise. 

Put that in your animist pipe and smoke to your heart’s content.

Thanks for listening. 

Jailbreaking St. Benedict

It ain’t always easy being into what I’ve affectionately coined Christianimism as there are few sources worth pulling from that don’t bleed into, or borrow from, traditions that I’ve no business adopting. A lot of magic involving the saints comes from Afro-Caribbean traditions in which there are often other spirits using the forms of the saints and their iconography to interact with the peoples with whom they have relations. This is generally a bad idea for a white midwestern boy that has no authority with those potentially dangerous spirits, nor any idea what their relational protocol might be. 

There aren’t a lot of saints in hoodoo, and the Catholics in North America refuse to admit to their magical acts of devotion so there is a whole lot of trial-and-error, research, and creative magical thinking that has to come into play to adequately explore this most fascinating of Western magical traditions.

After reading up on the saints I was interested in and setting them up on my altar, of course I get contacted very strongly by two I had yet to even research or find interest in. This time in the blogosphere I want to talk about the occulting or jailbreaking of just one of those two pious characters; Saint Benedict.

It seems safe to think of St. Benedict as a Saturnian influence based solely on the nature of his miracles. He took sickness away from people, avoided sinister plots against him that would have resulted in him “dying before his time,” has a special protective nature against poisons and for the home, performed exorcisms, and had authority over whether or not stuff was physically broken. He also had a way of seeing deep down to one’s true motivations and exposing them for what they were. If that isn’t Saturnian, I truly do not know what is.

It is certainly worth mentioning here, however, that the majority of these miracles were performed by him through prayer, and while he believed very strongly that students should rarely speak and casual discourse was a path to sin, this most strict among brothers also built into his order that different prayers should be repeated for specific times of day, and repeated often. 

He believed strongly in the power of oratory prayer and this makes him a wonderful ally to be called upon to join one in a ceremony of prayer. This is also indicative of a Mercurial current that carries forth as a more minor accent, as well as a Jupiterian one in his renovation of monasticism that carries on to this day. 

So if you are trying to build a community and find self-discipline, he just may be the saint you’ve been looking for. Just remember, it was Benedict of Nursia himself who told his would-be underlings when they begged of him his leadership that they would only regret their request of his authority, for he would be too strict for their tastes in short time. To which they replied, “Nay! We will have you as our leader!” Attempting, of course, to kill him via poison not long after his acquiescence.

Turns out he was right.

He also became uncomfortable with being noticed for his miracles and disappeared into solitude a couple times throughout his life. One of which times was spent in a cave, mostly fasting, and could thus be an ally if one needs to spend a lot of time in solitude. Potentially if, say, quarantined.

I’ve saved you the trouble of reading The Life of St. Benedict and made a list of potentially magically relevant miracles and plot-points to consider both in the sense of narrative and apparent metaphysics. 

  • Fixed a broken sieve through prayer.
  • Dramatically threw a glass bottle out a high window to make a point to a monk, and because his cause was just, the bottle did not break – thus preserving the small amount of oil that remained.
  • Raised a boy from the dead.
  • Returned a dead zombie boy to his grave after he arose from it (different boy, probably.)
  • Cured folks of leprosy.
  • Discovered wine hidden by his brothers.
  • Multiplied food.
  • Multiplied Oil.
  • Prayed over a bowl/glass in which poison had been slipped in a conspiracy to kill him. Upon making the sign of the cross the dish cracked in two, spilling the contents and saving his life.
  • Avoided notoriety like the plague, knew when to walk away without shame, and made the most of his alone-time.
  • Patron saint of cavers and probably the influence for Tarot’s the Hermit.
  • Untied the knots of a bound captive with just a will and a glance.
  • Exorcised a monk who had lost his way by hitting him with a “wand.” – That’s so wizard.
  • He seemed to be able to tell when things would end through prophecy and vision, including the monastery he built as well as, down to the day God told him it would happen, his own life.
  • Had visions. And I mean visions. Check this out: “Benedict, being diligent in watching, rose up before the night office and stood at the window making his prayer to Almighty God about midnight, when suddenly, looking forth, he was a light glancing from above, so bright and resplendent that it not only dispersed the darkness of the night, but shined more clear than the day itself. Upon this sight a marvellous strange thing followed, for, as he afterwards related, the whole world, compacted as it were together, was represented to his eyes in one ray of light. As the venerable Father had his eyes fixed upon this glorious lustre, he beheld the soul of Germanus, Bishop of Capua, carried by angels to Heaven in a fiery globe. Then, for the testimony of so great a miracle, with a loud voice he called upon Servandus the Deacon, twice or thrice by his name, who, troubled at such an unusual crying out of the man of God, came up, looked forth, and saw a little stream of light then disappearing, and wondered greatly at this miracle. Whereupon the man of God told him in order all that he had seen, and sent presently to Theoprobus, a Religious man in the town of Casino, ordering him to go the same night to Capua, and learn what had happened to Germanus the Bishop. It fell out so, that he who was sent found the most reverend Bishop Germanus dead, and on enquiring more exactly, he learned that his departure was the very same moment in which the man of God had seen him ascend.”
  • He was also made psychically aware of a boy getting carried away by a stream, which he then telepathically communicated to brother Maurus, who was so motivated and justified by his psychic hero-mission that he didn’t even notice himself running on the water to save this kid by the scruff. Consider the shape of this, metaphysically. Perhaps he’s the kind of saint that will help you out in an emergency, to exceed your own limits and rise to impossible tasks with single-mindedness. 
  • When one of his monks decided to leave the monastery he began to pray for him. Upon leaving the monastery the monk saw a great dragon which frightened him into remaining with Benedict in the pious life. This sort of manipulation for positive influence is morally tenuous, and truly fascinating tactically. 
  • Consider this story for inspiration on emergency St. Benedict petitions for finance: “So he came to the Monastery, where finding the servant of Almighty God, told him how he was extremely urged by his creditor for the payment of twelve shillings. The venerable father answered him that, in very deed, he had not twelve shillings, but yet he comforted his want with good words, saying: “Go, and after two days return hither again for today I have it not to give thee.” These two days, as his custom was, he spent in prayer, and, on the third day, when the poor debtor came again, thirteen shillings were found upon a chest of the Monastery that as full of corn. These the man of God caused to be brought to him, and gave them to the distressed man, saying that he might pay twelve, and have one to defray his charges.”
  • Or this one if you live off-grid “…went up to the rock and there prayed a long time. Having ended his prayers, he put three stones for a mark in the same place, and so unknown to all he returned to his Monastery. Next day, when the Brethren came again to him for want of water he said: “Go, and on the rock where you shall find three stones one upon another, dig a little, for Almighty God is able to make water spring from the top of that mountain, that you may be eased of this labour.” When they had made a hollow in that place, it was immediately filled with water, which issueth forth so plentifully that to this day it continueth running down to the floor of the mountain.”
  • There is also a known cunning tradition of burying a St. Benedict coin at each of the four corners of a property for protection and fortification.
  • His iconography includes a raven, lending his appearance to sometimes resemble Odin when coupled with his staff and hooded robe. Saturn and Mercury, indeed.
  • Other Benedictine symbols include a broken vessel and book, though anything could be used from these narratives if they resonate with you, in theory.

Bringing up these narrative points as a means to consider potential ways of collaborating with St. Benedict is my sole intention, as I am only beginning to actually get to know him myself. I claim no authority on the matter and should very much like to hear from anyone who has worked with this saint.

One last point to consider:

PETER. I would know whether he obtained these great miracles always by prayer, or did they some times only by the intimation of his will? 

GREGORY. They who are perfectly united with God, when necessity requireth, work miracles both ways, sometimes they do wonders by prayer, sometimes by power. For since St. John saith: “As many as received Him, to them He gave power to become sons of God.” What wonder is it if they have the privilege and power to work miracles who are exalted to the dignity of children of God. And that they work miracles in both ways is manifest in St. Peter, who by prayer, raised Tabitha from death, and punished with death Ananias and Sapphira for their falsehood. For we do not read that he prayed when they fell down dead, but only that he rebuked them for their fault committed. It is evident therefore that these things are done sometimes by power, sometimes by petition; since that by reproof he deprived these of their life, and by prayer revived the other.

Experiment away, wyrdos. ❤