Gimme a group hug you glorious goonies of goodness! In an effort to avoid yet another post about grief and trudging through it with a sick sense of humor and an air of having been through worse while remembering that nothing is permanent and things tend to change for the better in my life, I am beginning a new series of posts called Yama Yoga Story Time.
“What the fuck is a Yama Yoga?” I hear you ask from the future as I type this at the last minute on a Wednesday. Yama Yoga, or “Death facing Combination” is an aspect in Jyotish (Vedic astrology) in which Mars and Saturn are conjoined or even just in close aspect to one another. If you want to know more, check out this article or this article by folks who knows a fuck load more about jyotish than I ever will. The gist is, when Saturn and Mars are in tight aspect to one another it gives the person the ability to, paraphrasing Austin Coppock, calmly walk through the killing fields. Bruce Lee had it, David Lynch has it, Madam Blavatsky had it, and, incidentally, my dad, both my brothers, two of my best friends, my wife, and I all have the Yama Yoga.
So what does that mean practically? In my experience, it means that my life has been filled with some gobsmackingly gnarly, fucked up shit which is mostly my own fault and, so far, I have strolled through it without losing my mind (permanently) and kept a lovely, gallows sense of humor about the whole thing. The stories I laugh at while regaling customers at the bar with my past exploits often result in looks of dumbstruck terror pimp-slapped across the faces of those within earshot. I know right away who I will really get along with because they’re the ones who will laugh with me and immediately serve up some fresh tales of horror from their own lives. And why not? It all happened, we can either laugh and rejoice in the fact that we’re still here, or cry and lament our past actions. It’s an easy choice for me.
Another benefit of Yama Yoga is the noticeable absence of the fear of death. Neither myself nor the army of crazies to whom I am related seem to fear dying. This is not bragging, not fearing death would be a super weird thing to brag about.
I should point out that I do fear things: large spiders upon my person in the night times, large crowds sometimes, pain, suffering, and shitting myself during an ayahuasca ceremony all rank pretty high on my fear-o-meter. Death, however, just seems like the gateway into the next phase, and a fucking cool adventure to be sure.
The folks I know with Yama Yoga are keenly aware of the impermanence of life and of everything else, they’ve endured pain and trauma that is genuinely shocking to the average bear, and, instead of adopting suicidal, nihilistic, or sociopathic tendencies, most of them choose to celebrate the joy of whatever is happening now and revel in the beautiful impermanence of everything. We’re kind of a fucked up cult of zen junkies making the world brighter and evoking joy in the present, by sharing, with a smile, how much worse it has been and how beautiful it is now. That sounds pretty self-aggrandizing and definitely makes us out to be more stable than most of us are. That said, those who have suffered the lowest lows tend to more easily find the inherent, ecstatic beauty in the mundane.
And then there's Mark Zuckerberg...
But try to imagine how bad it must have hurt when he pulled his own living brain out of his useless, fleshy-fleshy meat body and wired it up into whatever he is now. Or, holy shit, try to imagine how bad just living as a human must have hurt for him to have turned himself into a robot in the first place. I have experienced some very serious pain and trauma but it had never even occurred to me that cutting open my skull, ripping out my brain, and plopping it into a rejected prototype for a real Data-from-Star-Trek cyborg was an option. That’s Yama Yoga.
We also tend to spin a good line of bullshit and are fairly adept at justifying our choices or making the best of a situation that could only be described as totally fucked.
That seems like a solid place to leave it, images of a cryogenically frozen, brainless, Zucker-body floating peacefully in your heads. Until next time when we will likely dive into some actual Yama Yoga Stories.
Be well you crazy fucks. I love you all.
Circle up team. I've got a short one for you for reasons that shall be elucidated in due course. Forgive the straightforward and under-flourished writing, the only creative style available to me right now is an amalgam of black humor and sarcasm and it tastes like bitter molasses, salt, and sambuca all threw up on a street corner covered in the discarded underwear of the homeless.
Still feeling the feels from the events of 2 weeks ago, topics for a blog post were not easy to come by. So I did what any self-respecting magical practitioner would do: I let some digital renderings of screen printed images on card stock tell me what to write about using a tarot-bot on discord.
Because I was too lazy to shuffle my actual cards. Because life is challenging right now. Because I’m grieving and I wanted a robot to tell me what the cards meant so I didn’t have to engage my intuitive or cognitive faculties. Quit judging me Deborah, your husband left you for your brother and you cried for sixty seven consecutive days and drank at least four bottles of wine on every one of those days. And until this moment I didn't say a fucking thing, so shut your wine-hole. Comparatively, I am thriving.
Alright, the query was; what should I write about this week. Here’s the spread: 3 of swords (Lord of Sorrow), The Wheel of Fortune (Lord of the Forces of Life), and Queen of Wands (Queen of the Thrones of Flame).
I used The Hermetic Tarot because, even filtered through a digital tarot-bot, this deck reads marvelously for me. I recommend it over just about anything else for daily reading practices. Unlike the Thoth deck, which tends to skew negative for me and focus on more big picture, karmic, epochal type trends and energies surrounding the query, The Hermetic Tarot gives me solid, accurate readings about the actual issues in question. As evidenced above.
I read that spread as “Write about what you’re going through and how you’re getting through it, genius.” Here’s why: 3 of Swords pretty obviously suggesting the pain and sorrows of two weeks ago, The Wheel of Fortune suggests the transience of all states and the coming of fortunes new, The Queen of Wands suggests courage, determination, and joy, and looks to me like a grotesque lion-headed phoenix rising from the flames.
So, thanks a bunch tarot-bot, I guess you want me to write about my sorrow and how it, and everything else are just temporary states to eventually be overcome by joy when we die and either wake up in another dimension realizing that life was all some kind of crazy video game, or merge back into the source of all things (heaven?) maybe to be reborn, or everything goes dark and that’s it. I find only two of these options palatable or realistic and it should be fairly obvious which two. Speaking of palatable, the idea of writing about what I’m going through again sounds about as palatable as using my tongue to wipe someone else’s ass. So I shall ignore the sagely advice of the tarot-bot and, instead, write about what I’m doing to stay sane.
Reading. Lots of reading. Some frivolous book purchases. Extra matras, prayers, and meditation. Research. Lots of research. I’ve been learning about new systems of magic and jailbreaking them down into usable bits to try later. The past two weeks have mostly been spent caring for my wife and myself and trying to keep my mind occupied so that it stays the fuck out of my grieving process. As a card carrying member of The Crustacean Crew, I feel things deeply and often for longer than is healthy, withdrawing into my protective shell, tuning out my mind and ego and allowing my natural healing process to do its thing. When the feels hit hard I do my best to feel them and acknowledge them without wallowing. Reminding myself that my life is, on the whole, amazing and that I have been through more painful and more harrowing situations more times than I care to count helps. Taking care of my body with nourishing food and exercise and sleep. Though I must admit, sleep has been in short supply. Applying talismanic oils from Sphere and Sundry when it’s felt right (mostly Son of Apollo, Sol in Leo, and the new Venus in Taurus Empress series). That’s it really. I’ve not done any magic to banish grief or anything else. Just doing my best to respect what comes up and stay positive. Which sounds gross, I know, but it’s all I got.
Love y’all. See you next time.
Huddle up, you mystical, magic-matted merkins. It’s gonna be a short post this week and I didn’t want to write it.
Some really challenging shit happened last Monday. Painful, uncomfortable, draining, devastating shit. The essence of this shit is for myself and my loved ones to know, all you need to know, dear reader, is that it fucking hurt to go through and I imagine it will hurt for a while longer.
This pain and the way it’s being processed and coped with now as opposed to ten years ago got me thinking about what it is to deal with pain in a “healthy” way. This is also the only thing I felt I could write about with any sort of integrity at the moment. So enjoy a brief rundown of how to cope when life gets painfully challenging.
The certainty of not being able to express this sentiment any better has crashed over me like a tsunami of liquid LSD and left me standing stark naked and bewildered at the brilliant, mad simplicity of that statement. Nonetheless, I must press on.
Ten years ago if something as painful as this had happened to me, it would have meant a large withdrawal from the bank, a massive purchase of murderous narcotics, weeks or months spent completely numb, and then, when the money ran out, another large withdrawal. This time in the form of three weeks with no sleep, uncontrollable weeping, truly impressive projectile excretions from all orifices and the certainty that my veins had been pumped full of furious, electrified fire-ants as my limbs twitched and writhed in agony.
Today dealing with the pain is sitting with it and feeling it but not allowing myself to fall into wallowing and depression which, for a person of my temperament with a penchant for depressants and a love of Jeff Buckley, is a very fine line indeed. Turning my formerly existential/nihilistic tendencies around and realizing that whatever happens in my life is exactly what is supposed to happen because the events in my life are always unfolding towards my highest good has been incredibly helpful. Knowing when it is OK to take a break from processing the pain and have an edible and relax and recuperate has been an invaluable tool this last week.
Life is fucking weird.
Not to worry, I'm a pro.
Thanks Uncle Hunter