The only thing to fear

Oh… there’s the pitter patter of your pity party raindrops

Fat globes of frosted ‘how will I carry on’s

It’s like all your hope was a wasted illusion, so you decide to the face the knife at dawn

Only that too must be full of confusion, ‘how am I gonna put me back together before work and get my makeup on?’

A sea of faces we are gonna see, the armor dented, the masks are all rented, didn’t want to hide before but it’s just a change of the angle before I’m living proof that things don’t really get better

Tears in the coffee can’t you taste the cream? It’s like we are never going to be ready to be seen

And in the meantime the lives we had, the loves we had, they move out and farther away like the tide, receding, the cuts we closed they all open and it’s bleeding… it’s bleeding… where does all the blood go? Another water, another ocean, another world I wish I did not know

Because I want to go.

Disappear

Apparitions

Ghost

I can take on my own moonlit glow

Once more, this time without feeling, explore the void you were supposed to be healing

The only thing to fear is staying where you are, why not step out even if you can’t step far because honey if you only want to cry make some castles with those tears and if you never share them you can still hide inside their walls for years… and years

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Stories

What are you stories about? What do you tell yourself in reflection? How do you recount the past? What role do your memories, your history, play in your self talk? What role do they play in your beliefs about yourself? Are you inspired by these stories? Could they be old and in need of re-imagining? Are they empowering? Uplifting?

Can you breathe them out, empty yourself of any attachment to these stories? Can you let them go, or is it too painful? Do you need them? How badly?

Suppose you do release them. Now is there space? Lightness?

Can you tell new stories? In so doing will you learn new lessons, new insights about yourself and your past, and do you see new possibilities, new futures? Do you see the limitations break up and dissolve around you? Do you feel yourself opening up and expanding?

Memories are molded by time. Stories change in order to stay relevant.

All of this is fluid and adaptable.

It must be. Or time itself would simply tear it apart. Stories are not facts and histories are stories. Rather, stories are the vehicles that facts travel in but they may land or arrive anywhere, even places they have never been before. Thus it is important not to be rigid in the telling. Or in the believing.

Storyteller, 9 The Hermit from the Chrysalis tarot. Keys: contemplation, meditation, journeying, retreat, understanding.

Mnemosyne, from the Mythic Oracle. Keys: memory, language and writing, storytelling, lore, and inspiration. Mother of muses.

Have a blessed day and much peace, Lis

Pick up sticks

They don’t know what things came loose

What pieces fell out of you like loose change over the years of trying to forget them or to not remember

They bring up old times or comment on memories like they were normal, like you were never happy- just plain- no big

Or they say something nice, as if nice isn’t the biggest insult of all- the biggest coldest hardest slap across the unfeeling face of heart break

They don’t know about your sleepless nights

Your long sad brooding hours spent rehashing all the ways you failed at love

All the ways you wanted it to be different

All the ways it will always be exactly what it is

They don’t know that you can’t joke about it or laugh or be friends

They don’t know it still stings

They won’t know because you won’t tell them and you will burn to death of frostbite before you let them in again

But you know

You know that you are mistrustful

You can’t let go

You want to be alone

You know that you drift further each day

Away from others as if stranded on a piece of frozen ice

Further out on the Arctic

Staring into the white wintery horizon on your way to the island of misfit toys

You gave up trying to find people

It changed you

Irrevocably

Your heart ache changed you

It would be a long game of pick up sticks trying to get to the bottom of that sad pile of past pain

It’s easier to ignore it and look away

Trauma as Initiation and leaving the lost behind

​”But there is another sort of initiation we should men-

tion, one where the initiate neither sets out to seek for

knowledge nor is led into it by friends or lovers. Instead

power sneaks up behind the initiate and pushes him or her

into an awareness of it as if off a cliff into the sea. If the

formal initiation is more measured, it also leaves one with

the option of losing interest and sliding back into the mun-

dane. The second leaves you with no options at all. You are

hurled into an ordeal and either win through into an aware-

ness of power, or else shrink back from it in the knowledge

that your cowardice cost you a chance at a whole new

world.”- Stephen Mace, Shaping Formless Fire. 

When I deal with those whose depression or trauma has failed to bridge their experience of life from victim to victor I want to shake them and punch them in the face but I’m susceptible to this same sort of cowardice. It’s not fair to judge them like this but it’s my own shadow that I am judging, it’s a triggered perception. I know what I fight to overcome, and yet overcoming it I just expect everyone else to do the same. Seeing my struggles as initiations puts them in a context that empowers me and it makes me sad that we (we being those who struggle with depression) are all so willing to give our power away. Still, this is the reason why I don’t give mine away. If I ruin my life at least it’s because I ruined it, I’m not leaving it to chance. I’m doing all I can to be intentional and not be a burden on my family or society. 

This is simply my own coping mechanism. What I can see by my sensitivity to those who appear to me as ‘not coping at all’ or coping with drugs, alcohol, sex or any number of distractions and/or delusions is that I’m quite close to the same behavior myself. My demons are more subtle, though, not as conquered as I think they are. The fight is still on. In this I must be honest with myself. The guilt I feel for further divorcing myself from those people that trigger me in such a way has to be treated with loving forgiveness. We are making fundamentally different choices. I need not punch anyone in the face but I do need to move on. If I should shake someone, it should be me. There’s nothing here to rescue. Save myself.

Fragile

Some days crumble

From top to bottom or from beneath

The blood drains

It stains our teeth

Red hearts beat, speed up

Tears fall in our sleep

I can’t change it

No more safe

The road turns and we follow

Unable to slow down

What has been gives way to what will be

I loved you for me

And that’s all I knew

Now I know better

We take the gifts we are given

Instead of forever

Life and death are like this

Fragile and inevitable

I, the wanderer

I have stopped going back
Stopped returning
I still roam of course
Wander from county to county
I go alone and sometimes not
I no longer visit though
I was always showing up at the party
Always stopping by
Asking if I could stay for a night
Do they think I've been lost
That I finally disappeared down a moonlit trail
Perhaps I naturally faded away
As party goers and lively company are want to do
Nowadays I have a warm den
I have soft light
Pictures on the wall
Books at my bed side
It looks like home after all
I have spread myself through the house
Left my shadow here and there
Who knew I would settle in
All those that I use to call on
Do not call here
No visits to me
No trips reciprocated
And I see-
I think I went out
Looking for home
So I found people with homes
They couldn't bare to leave
Then I asked to come in
But just for a bit
I, the wanderer
Couldn't bare to stay

Revelation and Review

Each August I experience this same pull to look deeply into what changes have formed in myself over the course of the year. My internal clock is set to take a mental/emotional first harvest. This post is perhaps the initial fruit of this labor. I hope that it offers insight and illumination to others by way of resonance.

Lucifer, the Light Bearer, the Morningstar, the Adversary, Hekate, the Torch Bearer, Keyholder, Lady of the Crossroads, Queen of the Witches, may your Wisdom, Knowledge, Fire and Passion enliven these words. In bright blessing and dark merriment, Lis.

My path wound up from the changeling, the odd child, the misfit, the loner. Backwards and introverted in every way, ungrounded, otherworldy and misunderstood. My family was dysfunctional and my early relationships imbalanced. I suffered depression and anxiety. I found solace in drugs and rejected all spirituality only finding truth of any sad kind in nihilism. This is not an uncommon story and I have no desire to spend a great length of words on it. Ignorance is its strongest characteristic. It is as if I stared into the abyss as a child and was never truly able to turn away. However it would be so much later in life before I could learn to integrate it and benefit from its lessons or its teachers.

I began, as we all do, accumulating my shadow content early on and I had quite the compost pile built up before I ever thought to explore it. In drugs and through relationships chosen unconsciously I played out my darkness on the stage of my life ruining myself at every turn. Destroying myself with self sabotage, destroying others with cruel and reckless behavior, choosing people that would keep me in a cycle of pain, abandonment and victim-hood, I was able to exact the only control I could conceive of. Of course all of this was mostly unconscious. Complexes I could not see ruled my life. Even as I asked myself why and blamed others and tortured myself for being the incompetent, fearful and worthless fool that I knew I must be for recreating the same content over and over again with different faces and different substances, I felt unable to escape, doomed to hit repeat again and again. Finally I lost everything.

Now I see that this is the force of darkness unconquered and unexamined. These are the Dark Gods working in the life of the ignorant and uninitiated. Dark forces that cannot be grounded and contained within the body and the psyche turn to chaos and misfortune when they are tapped unconsciously and without skillful intention.

I believe myself to be a mystic, a seeker, a spiritual traveler and it is the left hand path that I have chosen throughout my life, unknowingly for much of it. In these dark days I was calling from within, asking for the deliverance and the knowledge of the darkness, I wanted to be moved, to be expanded, to have a spiritual experience. Perhaps I thought that the light would be an end result, something to be met on the other side of suffering and hardship but we must illuminate from within the darkness. A spark, grand and unbelievable- inconceivable- must be struck by our own souls from the darkest places therein.

Nearly every metaphysical text I have read cautions of dabbling, expresses the dangers of entering into occult work without the proper mindset and the probability of mental instability when confronted with dark forces before we have the skill to embody them. It is only in the last 6 years or so that I have been actively involved in my spiritual life. Before then I was largely unconscious to my spiritual self. I believed that I was atheist, that I had no soul, no spiritual self. I can see now it was all there. Acting of its own accord. Without awareness this uncultivated depth drove me to misery over and over again. This, to me, is the embodiment of all the warnings and disclosures of every mystical practice. I pose that you need not be religious or mystical to fall prey to these forces. They are here to tempt and destroy us in order to bring about our salvation and redemption. We should not fear or turn away from the seeking but we must arm ourselves with the ability, the tools, the resources to confront the archetypes that drive us in order to become senior to our baser energies and instincts. To fear them, to shroud them in mystery and vilify them is our undoing. As it is also dangerous to court them and escape into their seductions unconsciously as one does in thrill seeking and dissipation. This is why dark deity are seen as cruel, they contain all the malevolence that we as humans can imagine, they do not suffer fools and they will grant you exactly what you are asking for.

When my spiritual awakening began I spent my time in the loving arms of a Goddess of compassion and clarity, the deity and Bodhisattva Tara of Tibetan Buddhism. She was my loving companion and I spent much time in her presence learning awareness, how to confront my thoughts and feelings without judgement or attachment and learning also what Pema Chodron calls the wisdom of no escape. Without this healing I could never have moved forward on my path and I spent several years here just getting to know the obvious in my life (inner and outer) that I kept failing to see or actively turning away from. There was a lot of forgiveness. This is why the middle path is suggested as the way, it is a gentle path that anyone can step onto and have little fear for things going sideways. This is not to say it is a simple path to follow or even master, gentle is no less difficult. Confronting self is perilous but awards great treasure.

It is said that all paths will take you there and they will. One is not any better than the other, only different. It is likely we will spend time on all paths at some point, it is human nature, I think, to meander.

Unconsciously choosing and walking in the dark I fell. Awakening and choosing love and light I learned. Now it is time for me to descend again. There are treasures to bring up from below. Now, with skilled intention and proper alignment with the deities and archetypes of the void I can mine the unconscious and integrate the lessons that I have spent precious time and meditation making myself ready for.

May you all experience illumination, may all beings realize the light within, most especially when you are confronted with your deepest darkness.

Vocatus atque non vocatus, Deus aderit.  (Bidden or unbidden, God will be present.)

Sweet Dream

I hear the owl echo from

deep in the wet wood 

A long lonely sound mixed with the whir 

Of bugs and cars and wind in the leaves

That drip rain as dogs bark while words cease

An evening, alone

Here and now is all

I float on the quiet life

I dig deep in my grave

For I know I boxed me up

And buried me one day

This moment is so solemn

It almost seems right to wake the dead

Its as if this is what they’d live for

If only they could live instead 

And all my sorry cares

My broken hearts and broken bones 

Might seal themselves back up

Like loves holy light come home 

Its like nothing had ever broke me

Not at 7 or at 9 or 14

No world I ever lived in had been less

than a sweet dream