From Unsavory To Sweet

It’s funny how stories reach out and touch you so deeply at just the right time. It’s hilarious, and arguably even more profound, when they weren’t intended to. Often times I find those narratives and ideas which cut to the core are able to do so through a sort of divine synchronism, a sort of rhyming with whatever else is going on in my life. These stories that punch through the veneer of entertainment to the truth of what stories really are seem to pack an extra punch when they come from a place I would normally see as silly, or “not my thing.” There is something about transcending one’s expectations of mediocrity, or vapidity, that brings a surprise. A surprise that lands experientially somewhere between a birthday party and the Trojan horse.

The Way of the House Husband has landed in this fertile yet awkward land I call my consciousness and, for those who don’t know, the show is about a Yakuza legend who wrought total destruction upon every local gang single handedly for the sole purpose of retiring with the love of his life in domestic marital bliss. 

While I was not, myself, by any means a successful criminal the amount of trauma and horror incurred during my years as a drug addict make me feel, at times, much like our House Husband. Carrying the weight of all I have seen and done into this loving and pure new life, and with the intensity of mundane tasks dialed up to life/death consequences internally. While I do not wish this hyper attentive and intensely ultra state upon anyone, I do feel comforted by a character who is learning to turn his fighting all the time mindset into something potentially useful, repurposed for the art of affection. In service of love.

He terrifies all the women at Yoga, he sees his Roomba as an underling in his gang, and he tries to severely punish himself for the smallest inconvenience or disappointment he causes his beloved. These are all tendencies which are disturbingly relatable for an ex addict who married a priest.

Through the humor of this show, this strange archetype, I am able to hold the idealized deified House Husband in my mind as I go about my day. He reminds me that when I spill some shit on the floor right after mopping that the vein in my forehead and twitching eye are actually just a well-drawn, funny cartoon. All I need to do is lean into it. Take the moment less seriously. Be a bit kinder to myself about the adjustment from skipping meals to save up for dope, ducking dealers I owed, and juggling lies to keeping up a clean kitchen, happy garden, shining shrines.

It also affords me a cheeky stance from which to see the dishes as “scum that needs dealt with” or the weeds in the garden as “saboteurs popping up left and right.” With a self satirizing lens, these become jokes instead of psychoses.

In essence, what was intended to be a funny anime playing on tropes about Japanese gangsters has become a thought form with which I am working towards results of incremental healing. I often say I don’t like Chaos Magic because it’s like tourism, all of the cuisine and none of the lifeways, but perhaps this is my Chaos Magic. Because they absolutely did not know this show would be a profound tool in my spiritual arsenal for this time in my life, but they made it anyway, just because. And now it is so much more than a funny cartoon. 

I digress: To be honest I’m not sure how this would be different than plain animism, now that I’m thinking about it, outside of employing something in a spiritual context which was only meant for entertainment. This feels more like returning to a world where ideas are alive more than some kind of eccentric hack. Dropping down into the reality where it was never weird in the first place seems more accurate than stacking a bit of magic on top of materialism and calling it something else. Like scratching a chip of paint off of a blacked out window and calling it a new peep hole. It’s not a peep hole, it’s a mostly fucked up window. But like I said, I digress.

This inevitably brings the question to mind, whether this thought form arose from the show, or the show arose from the thought form. The nice part is, it doesn’t matter at all and we never need to try to figure that out. It’s more of a rhetorical wondering meant for wonderment.

Archetypes arise anew as new roles emerge in the world through our endlessly complicating tendencies. The need for these examples is their only source. The need is the origin. From there, the spirits may pull these archetypal garments out of the Akashic closet whenever there’s a need or desire to help or traumatize this person or that, but only if they lean into it. If a resonance exists, explore it- this is all there is in the universe, really. And yes, this is how I actually imagine it- a big closet full of archetypes.

If you have a weird niche archetype or character you identify or work with, I would love to hear about it in the comments.

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 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.