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.
Astro-Magic and Talismans pt.2
Here we are; astrological talismans and their creation by a rank amateur with no business calling forth the ancient and immensely powerful spirits of entire fucking planets. That’s right, if the glassy-eyed freak who freely admits to having a crush on David Bowie, and suggests that adding one’s own unique flair to the masturbatory process is a noble raison d’etre can create effective astrological talismans out of a hastily thrown together charm bag and some poorly drawn paper talismans, anyone can.
First off, the election: an astrological election is a time elected by an astrologer because of specific planetary and stellar alignments. Essentially, it’s a birthchart for the creation of an object or event and like a birthchart it dictates, to some degree, the general vibes of said person, place, or thing. For those of you interested in learning more from folks who know what the fuck it is they're doing here’s a link to Chris Brennan and Leisa Scheim talking for nearly three hours about electional astrology and all the other things that tie in with that. I have learned a whole truckload of super valuable and useful astrology things from The Astrology Podcast and I highly recommend it to anyone looking to learn about astrology for free plus how could you not enjoy a podcast hosted by this guy.
Fair warning, Chris’ voice hovers somewhere in between robotic monotone, partially reanimated corpse, exasperated emo teenager, and that teacher from Ferris Beuller’s Day Off; Ben Stein. For more magically inclined astrological podcastery check out the biannual astrology episodes of Rune Soup featuring the inimitable Austin Coppock, and Austin’s own podcast: Eavesdropping at Midnight.
The timing for my talismans fell, quite effortlessly, into my lap through forces I will never fully comprehend. Here’s the chart for the Venus talisman which, oddly enough, was so good that the brilliant Coppock’s who run Sphere and Sundry used it as well. Check it!. That said, they used the election to much greater effect and called in a total of 5 planetary spirits during their ritual and lined up the houses better than I did. All in all, though, for a first crack at astro-magic I’d say I did pretty well.
For those of you looking for solid elections this year, the Astrology Podcast gives away a free election every month with their astrology-of-the-month-ahead show and, if you become a patron at a certain tier they give you around 5 elections a month. Looking at those elections and the ones posted on Sphere and Sundry has been an incredibly valuable, free learning tool for me. Other options for finding elections include r/planetarymagic and various other forums dedicated to astro-magic. There are more classes available than I care to count, I believe Chris Warnock, co-author/translator of the Picatrix, still offers classes and astrological talismans at Renaissance Astrology and Austin Coppock has some prerecorded classes on his site. I’ve heard that starting with talismans of the lunar mansions, as outlined in The Picatrix, can be a decent intro to talismanic astro-magic though, as is my wont, I chose to forgo the intro and leap headfirst into the deep end. One could also make daily or weekly prayers and offerings of candles or incense to the planetary or stellar spirits one is looking to work with and see what happens. I have done this with spirits of many varieties and it works a treat.
Speaking of prayers, finding examples of traditional prayers to the spirit you wish to petition and using those as a template, or cribbing whole sections, and adding your own personal flair and language has worked superbly well for me. Also, being comfortable enough with the gist of the prayer to go totally off-book and freestyle if the mood strikes has yielded outstanding results in my own practice. Speaking from the heart seems to be a key factor in successful evocations. As Aleister Crowley said: “The whole secret may be summarized in these four words: “Inflame thyself in praying.”
This is easier than it may seem: It’s acting. Giving yourself completely to the words on the page, or in your heart, and feeling them “inflame” you creates a potent spiritual and magical environment conducive to inter-dimensional diplomacy and the achievement of magical goals.
Here are some examples of the the basic ritual shape and prayers I used to petition Mars and to empower my talismans.
- Purification by bathing and reading Psalm 51, especially verses 7-12.
- Calling of Personal Daimon from PGM
- Consecration of ground, and consecration of fire and incense from Drawing Spirits Into Crystals by psedo-Trithemius in Barret’s The Magus
- Prayer: Oh Mars, you who are an honored lord and are dry and hot, mighty, weighty, unshakable of nerve, firm of heart, spiller of blood. You are strong and hardy, acute, daring, shining, agile, skillful. The lord of battle who has no fear or contemplation of anything, who strikes by instinct and trained skill at the perfect moment both on the anvil and on the battlefield. Sole helper in all your effects and in investigations thereof, strong in calculation and will to conquer, indomitable of will and drive and endlessly seeking fortune. Cause of lawsuits and battles, doer of evil to weak and strong, lover of the sons of battle and vindicator of wicked people. King of the forge and the purifying fire, hot as molten rock and sturdy as the anvil. Harnesser of destruction, channeling explosions into pure forward drive. Inexorable progress, mowing down any and all who stand in your way. I ask of you and conjure you by your names and your qualities that exist in heaven; by your fire and progress, by your drive and purification and also by your petitions to the Lord God who placed power and strength in you, gathering them in you and separating them from other planets that you might have strength and power and victory over all with great vigor.
- Orphic Hymn to Mars
- Conjuration: I conjure you by all your names which are in Arabic Mirrih, in Latin Mars, in Persian Bahram, in Roman and Greek Aries, in Indian Angara, in Etruscan Maris, in Babylonian Nergal, in Vedic Mangal.
- Conjuration: I conjure you by the high God of the universe that you hear my prayer and attend to my petition and furthermore see my humility in the presence of your holy might and fill my petition. I conjure you by Samael who is the angel whom God set beside you to complete your effects and affairs.
- Conjuration: Mars I conjure you also by your spirit with which you have strength and potency in your works, I conjure you by your light and your radiance, by the red glow of your light and by the heart of the strong burning fire. You who are the embodiment of purification through fire and force of will, pure determination, the action and implementation of universal power, the bearer of wellfare and action through exploration and protection. Mars who is of the nature of the ardent flame, igniter of passion and reveler in battle. Commander of the forces of strength, drive, purification, protection, defending borders and expanding them through force, I conjure you by the High Throne of God and in the name of Tetragrammaton that you head my prayer in this your degree of exaltation and grant my petition and dedicate, bless, consecrate, and empower the items on this altar. Fill them with the might of your power in this your degree of exaltation and the height of your strength.
- Talisman Prep: Draw Mars symbols on paper or parchment or cloth or rocks, compound oils or waters or tinctures.
- Charm Bag: Draw Mars glyphs on bag and fill with plants and minerals sympathetic to Mars. Check Agrippa or Skinner or think about the qualities of Mars and what materials share those qualities: personal meaning adds a lot to these workings.
- Talisman Consecration and Empowerment: I conjure you mighty spirit of Mars and glorious archangel Samael, in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit to, with the indefatigable spirit of Mars, consecrate, bless, dedicate, and empower these talismans that they may shine forth with the glow of the forge and power of the hammer of Mars in his degree of exaltation. That they radiate the pure victorious drive and unstoppable courage, the inevitable success, heightened instincts and awareness, the indefatigable energy and iron will and flaming heart of Mars at his best, the right use of universal power and action through exploration. Fill them with the calculated, tactical striking power and purifying heat of the forge so that all those who hold them shall know victory and success, and that they may stand, solid as a block of iron, as a testament to your steadfast strength and power and serve as an everlasting tribute to your implementation of universal power without bringing any harm or unnecessary stress to the lives of those who hold them or the people within their spheres of influence.
- Talisman Enlivening: At this point I was about full to bursting of indescribable Martial power. My skin was hot and it felt like I had molten fire ants with jetpacks and rocket pants coursing through my veins instead of blood. My whole body was shaking with the raw power of this ancient, explosive power. I took a deep breath and focused all the power blasting through the room and my body into my core and lungs and hands, picked up my charm bag and pushed the glorious, fulminating, cataclysmic creative force into the bag with a forceful exhale, intending, all the while, to use the energy to enliven and empower the talisman. It was very obvious that it “woke up” immediately so I tied the bag closed with five knots and moved on to enliven the paper talismans.
- License to Depart: Thanking God and all the spirits who attended for their aid, requesting as they came in peace and power that they depart in the same fashion and return when called.
Image by Matthew Trupia
Wowzers! I got jittery and Martially (or Marshally) amped up to 11 just transcribing these prayers from my ritual notebook. Which makes sense considering that it was on or near the altar throughout the working and is likely a talisman in its own right.
For those of you thinking that Mars was a rather reckless first entity to petition for a talisman, you are right. That said, while Mars in it's degree of exaltation in Capricorn is more powerful, it is also much more stable. The whole thing came together rather quickly when, while making my standard Tuesday Mars prayers, I was struck with a massive surge of energy and the certainty that making a talisman was both within my power and a magical necessity. The surge of energy lasted from that Tuesday until the following Sunday providing more than enough maddening Martial motivation and energy to propel me, sleepless, through five straight days of research, magic, and ritual preparation.
That's all I've got for y'all this week. Let me know in the comments what you think and if you have had any interesting experiences with astrological magic, or magical magpie-ism, or anything else on your mind.
See y'all next time.
Sorry for the lateness of this post, it would have been posted last week on Wednesday only, a giant kingfisher pecked me into my duvet cover and then a frog stole my shoes. I’ve only just managed to wriggle out the bottom of my bed, tearing my last clean pair of jodhpurs on a magic hedgehog. Luckily the frog left me my slippers and a life in which shoes and jodhpurs optional.
To make up for my fecklessness I present to you part one of a long as post about astrological magic and magical magpie-ism. So circle up you miniaturized mercurial manta rays, you pulchritudinous potato poems for another journey through time and space...
A little less than a year ago in late March just as we in the USA were realizing that the shut down of the entire world also included us, I was called, quite loudly, to begin researching and preparing to make some astrological talismans in the style of The Picatrix. Astrological talismans and talismanic materia have been on my radar for a few years now thanks to Handsome Man-strologer Austin Coppock and his brilliant astro-sorceress wife Caitlin who run Sphere and Sundry. Making said talismans and materia had crossed my mind but, given my complete lack of astrology training and limited understanding of the ensorcelling required for the ritual, I figured it would have to be a project that some future-Tyler would sort out after present-Tyler did a whole shit-ton more research and learning. Not the case. As usual, going with my gut and studying the things I was nudged/called to study totally worked out because, as you will see below, I “randomly” stumbled on to an amazing magical election. Using the prayer and praxis from the Picatrix and some prayers and TEK from Drawing Spirits Into Crystals, and borrowing some of the beautiful wording from Jyotish planetary prayers I called forth, invoked, and petitioned the spirits of Mars and Venus as well as the angels and intelligences of their spheres and had them empower some talismans.
David Bowie, Marc Bolan, The Glitter Twins: Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, Sir William Blake, Greg Traw, Sarah Eisenlohr, The Avalanches, Daft Punk, Justice, and Beck. These are all excellent examples of humans who borrow shiny bits and pieces from the world at large and recombine them into something completely new, something greater than the sum of its parts. A beautiful chimera, unique and futuristic, cobbled together from the glittering refuse of the past. These masterful, majestic magpies unmake and take apart the world we take for granted, they strip it down to its component parts and then they take the bits that speak to them and create the Frankenstein monster of the motherfucking future from the bombastic bones of the past.
Greg Traw's psychedelic magic masterpiece the Dracxiodos Tarot
All this is to say that while I appreciate the skills stances of grimoire purism and reconstructionism just as I appreciate the skills and stances of classical musicians; there is certainly value in traditionalism and reconstructing the rituals, and or concerts, of the past. It’s just not the way I roll. My whole life has been spent experimenting with what the different combinations of skittles in the packet taste like, adding brown gravy to my kalbi ribs and mac salad, and bravely combining drugs to test for synergy in the test tube that serves as my brain.
David Bowie has been a roll model/crush/idle/idol of mine for way longer than is appropriate. So it stands to reason that I would end up a musical, masticatory, and magical magpie as well. Magic is a living tradition and one of my favorite parts of being alive is innovation and finding what works for us as individuals, taking what we need and leaving the rest. Developing our own unique ways of being true to ourselves in whatever we do: magic, music, filing TPS reports, writing, delivering mail, dancing, eating, cooking, or masturbating seems like as noble a reason for living as any other.
Alright, in typical Myrrhkwood fashion, we started down a path headed for a clear and easily reachable destination and have become waylaid by the shiny fairy lights. That is, however, the very nature of the forest and Myrrhkwood is about as foresty as a forest can be: it may in fact be the forestyest forest that ever did forest… Damn it’s dark. Where did that trail go?
To be continued…
This week, you glorious sparks of the divine, pulsating, cosmic trash-fire, I shall be rambling about eclipses. Specifically what a series of eclipses can do to a broken and neglected life.
Open on a college town in the Pacific Northwest circa 2009.
The writer’s life has gone completely tits up: no job, no life, few friends, only source of income is the buying and selling of illegal narcotics, existential beliefs are getting more nihilistic by the day, massive drug habit, suicidally depressed, and sleep deprived. Heroin withdrawal and cocaine psychosis have become integrated parts of his personality; tall and emaciated, but somehow oddly charming to those few humans he still interacts with. Things are going about as well as can be expected, our intrepid hero manages to get his fix most days as he burns bridge after bridge and isolates himself from any hope or lifeline. Even at this point, he knows that all this is building to something terribly final. Our anti-hero is going to go out like so many of his favorite musicians: smacked up and cracked up and alone. His genius cut down in its prime.
At least that was the romantic horseshit our star and lovable, junky-idiot used to paint his life with. The main problems with that depiction being: our hero is not now and certainly was not at that point any sort of genius, even as a bullshit-artist (which was his sole talent) he was only ranked among the best in his small town and would never have survived among real top-tier bullshitters, and he had not produced any evidence whatsoever of this supposed genius.
Enter the Cancer-Capricorn eclipse cycle.
Eclipses, in this writer’s humble and under-informed opinion, are about transformation. Explicitly, the sort of blow-up-your-fucking-car-while-you’re-inside-it-because-you-neglected-to-get-the-oil-changed transformation usually associated with the Tower card in tarot. The clearing away of old structures, relationships, habits, coping mechanisms, people, cars, money, belief systems, limbs, trust funds, etc.. If, like the writer in 2009, your life is a fucking shambles built out of lies, drugs, and broken coping mechanisms then the clearing away of those structurally unsound and massively dangerous slums can be uncomfortable and dramatic.
The areas of life being swept clean by an eclipse depend largely on which houses the eclipses of a given cycle are occurring in within one’s own birth chart. Here’s a quick and dirty breakdown of the houses and their meanings for those of you who don’t know and an easy site to get a free birthchart with interpretation for those of you who would like one. How vigorously the sweeping is done and whether or not the broom is actually a nuclear bomb depends largely on prevailing astrological influences, how the life in question is being lived and the level of adaptability currently at the disposal of the person living said life.
Smash cut back to 2009.
Our beloved, fucked up, junky loser totals his car at 8 in the morning after staying up all night doing drugs and arguing with an ex at her parents house. Lucky to be alive (he put out the driver’s side window with his head and the airbag didn’t deploy), he gets lucky again when the owner of the tree into which he wrecks his car comes out of his house radiantly high on meth and wants nothing whatsoever to do with the exchanging of insurance info or the calling of cops.
Star wipe to one and a half year depressing, junky montage of disappointed parents, no transportation, no money, and lots of intravenous drug use. Set to whichever the saddest Jeff Buckley song is, maybe “Lover You Should’ve Come Over”.
Fade to black.
Fade up on a cold and snowy Christmas season 2010. Curtis Mayfield’s “Pusher Man” plays as our writer, driving a new car, high as fuck, pockets filled with drugs and cash enjoys the last fun time he will ever have on the hard stuff.
Hectic party montage, lots of glitch hop, hotel rooms full of well dressed junkies, film speeds up as two weeks go by in a blur of bad decisions.
Smash cut to black.
Fade in on our hero, alone in the grossest apartment imaginable: used needles, empty baggies, rotting food, cat shit, and bills are piled up everywhere. The only “clean” areas are the couch upon which we find our writer and the path from the couch to the bathroom. Looking very frail and feverish, we see his arm is swollen to four times the size of its opposite and his fingers are beginning to turn purple. Delirious with fever and pain, he picks up the phone and calls his mom for a ride to the hospital.
Fast forward through a heartbreaking hospital scene, rehab, move in with girlfriend from rehab, relapse.
July 17 2017.
After purchasing a large amount of drugs and going to his parents’ house, his parents being out of town for the week, our hero proceeds to inject all of them in hopes of relieving the vast amount of inner turmoil, anxiety, depression, fear and shame that accompanies not being on drugs all the time. Nothing happens. No relief. Panic builds and a serious bout of cocaine psychosis and paranoia strikes leaving him locked in the top floor office with a loaded gun talking to himself. Suicide looks like a very good option.
And then something spectacular happens.
With the gun cocked and in his mouth he hears a voice. Not the whispering voices trying to scare him into pulling the trigger. A pleasant voice, a clear and sonorous voice with a warm and slightly effeminate British accent, spoken as if through a modest smile. An image flashes into focus of the scene he will leave his loved ones to find if he pulls the trigger. It is an utterly brutal scene that will remain with him forever and does not need to be described here. The soothing and utterly charming voice says, at the same moment the image is presented, “We can’t very well do that now can we, darling?”.
Flabbergasted and assuming he is in the presence of capital-G-O-D, he asks the only question his drug-addled brain can put together: “wait… you’re gay?”
At which the spirit laughs and, in the same fantastically charming hybrid of David Bowie and Freddy Mercury, responds, “I’m everything, darling”.
Our mind-blown and mystified mess of hero puts the gun down and calls his saintly girlfriend. She mercifully decides to keep him out of the psych ward and then drives him around town for three hours as he physically pulls the hair out of his head while raving about seeing demons on every street corner.
Fade to black.
Our hero wakes up the next day feeling fucking superb and not wanting to shove narcotics into his body for the first time in a decade. That feeling persists to this day.
“Cool story and all but what in the fuck did that have to do with eclipses?” Well, I’m glad you asked that, tired-literary-device; let’s shove some dates into the story above and see. December 21 2010, when I was partying my way through the holidays, there was a lunar eclipse in Cancer in my second house. January 4 2011, when that party was screeching to a halt due to scarcity of funds, there was a solar eclipse in Capricorn in my eighth house. I have no doubt that that one-two punch is what sent me, dying of a blood infection, to the hospital. Luck and my fancy, British guardian angel kept me here with all my arms and fingers intact. Then we had a solar eclipse in Gemini on June 1 2011 in my first house and a lunar eclipse in Sagittarius on June 15 2011 in my seventh house of partnerships (bless her heart she had almost as rough a time as I did). And then to cap it all off, on July 1 2011 there was a solar eclipse in Cancer.
As far as I can tell there wasn’t much else going on astrologically for me during those times so I, for the sake of this post and convenience, shall be blaming the total destruction of my terrible, junky life on the eclipses of 2009-2011. And I shall be crediting the glamorous and charming British spirit with the snatching of my life back from the abyss.
The good news is this; if your life is not a giant ball of neglected, junky cat shit then eclipses don’t have to be life-changing, horrific bummers of psychosis and bad decisions. We just passed out of the Cancer-Capricorn eclipse cycle and I had no issues at all. Or at least no issues like I did in 2010-11. I mostly stayed inside during the eclipses and chanted mantras or slept but I know folks who magically harnessed the power of those eclipses and used that dragon energy to power some pretty cool shit. Not my jam at the moment, but it seems to work for them.
I was going to go into remediation measures and the nodes and all that but honestly I would mostly be quoting the Coppocks so I shall link to Austin Coppock's stellar page (bad pun, boooooo) as well as his wonderful partner and super badass Kaitlin at Sphere and Sundry's post about south node remediation.
That’s all for this week you glamorous, galumphing, galaxy-brained glory-bees. Stay as joyful as you can in these crazy days and I’ll see you next week.
Engaging with my life and goals and taking the motherfucking initiative. Initiative, dear reader, is something that has been in short supply in my life from the get go. My moon is in Taurus and, because that moon is the ruler of my sun, what that means in a nutshell (or more appropriately a ferrero rocher wrapper) is; I am naturally drawn to the most comfortable route and, like a bull, can dig my heals in when it comes to change not carefully chewed over or chosen of my own free will. Said another way; I have an excuse written in the stars to be a lazy, stubborn, ass. I was recently standing in front of my mars altar asking for drive and courage, energy and passion, fierce will and tactical striking power (as one does of a Tuesday) and as can happen when one is barely awake and a bit stoned, getting very little out of the exchange when, like the impact of a hammer on a white-hot sword, it occurred to me in simple clear terms: asking for something every week and then, job done, sitting back and waiting for the results to show up on my doorstep like a fucking amazon package is asinine and insane. Outside of the all-powerful, all-seeing, all-dystopian, overlords of all time and space, the omniscient demiurge that is *all bow* AMAZON, there is not another situation that comes to mind where I can just ask for something, hit a button (or light a candle) and walk away expecting to receive what I’ve just requested without putting some energy or effort in before, during, or after. Of course I would have to, when asking for divine assistance with energy levels etc, put in some fucking energy! So I went in the next room and I exercised, something that I am about as inclined to do as I am to lick a spider’s asshole, and much to my surprise I was filled with the drive and energy and passion that I had been asking for, sadly the same cannot be said for tonguing spider anus. That energy lasted me through the busiest shift behind the bar that I’d had in weeks, fasting all the while, I maintained good energy and a (mostly) good attitude and people were friendly and energetic and it was a glorious, lucrative, fun, Tuesday. Receiving this insight from my friendly neighborhood Martial spirits and then acting on it is one of the reasons I love magic. Getting to know my own thoughts so that when one comes in from somewhere else I can recognize it, mull it over, and then do something with it or give it a miss.
Mostly I have found that acting on these outside thoughts has led to a much better quality of life with higher productivity and better mood, more joy and more fun, and more following of bliss as it skips merrily down the road in front of me pausing to sniff flowers and pointing out cute animals along the way while I stare at its butt. I suppose a disclaimer here would be appropriate, something like: if you’re working with some spirits and they tell you to start hurting people or sticking your head in the fire or stripping naked and tormenting a group of seniors, on leave from the home to buy soup and feed ducks, by swapping their dentures for those novelty chattering teeth soaked in LSD, then maybe think twice about acting on those impulses, or at the very least don’t blame it on me when you’re arrested.
This small success inspired me to try taking the initiative for a whole week, making concrete steps toward the goals that I was asking the planetary forces to assist me in achieving and, lo and behold, it worked out quite well. As I mentioned above, I started on a Tuesday and took steps to get energized beyond the usual routine of herbal stimulants and bitching about being tired and with only 20 minutes of exercise I was steaming with energy. Electricity crackling between my fingers, Martial fires stoking the furnace of the forge in my heart and tummy, pupils dilated like a jaguar munching ayahuasca and ready to strike, full to the brim with confidence and power. It was amazing and I had a genuinely good time at work selling booze and blasting witty banter-bombs at the endless stream of revelers, fast and calculated movements getting me from point to point, I quite literally danced and sang my way through the shift and made good money doing it.
Wednesday was my only day off in about ten days but I must’ve been feeling the afterglow from the day before and instead of weeping out the comedown as you do when you spend all night bursting with energy, dancing and singing, with your pupils dilated, I decided to take some more initiative. Since I was asking the Mercurial forces for assistance with inspiration, creativity in writing, magic, healing and the like I figured I’d just sit down and write and almost immediately my minuscule effort was rewarded with the idea for this blog post. I applied some of Sphere and Sundry’s* Mercury oil and felt an amphetamine lightning bolt of intellectual inspiration from my balls to my crown chakra and off I went, fingers fan dancing flirtatiously across the keys, clicking and tickling out surreal literary melodies in a state of ecstasy as I watched those divine digits decimate blank pages and deliver me dumbfounded at the end of this sentence. Another success.
Thursday was a bit different. Planetarilly speaking, I have historically tended to vibe more with Mercury, Venus, Moon, Mars than Jupiter, Saturn, Sun because of my own personal planetary placements: Jupiter in fall, Sun below horizon, Saturn retrograde in a water sign. My wife on the other hand is all Jupiter all the time, her chart is 256 bunches of Jupiterian bananas (or more appropriately grapes). Every one of her natal planets falls in a sign ruled by Jupiter; half in Pisces and half in Sagittarius, and she gets amazing results from her Jupiterian offerings and workings so I’ve been warming up to Jupiter who, it should be said, has always done me right and been there for me when needed. So Thursday I asked, as I have been for some time, for joy and beneficence, expansion of resources, and greater goodwill towards my fellow humans and I had no idea how I was supposed to initiate-ize those requests, until I got to work. It was cold as all fuck and blustery and pissing rain sideways on the pier where I work and there are a large group of families who were out there fishing for squid; mom, dad, grandad, uncle, aunty, grandma, and so many kids. So it occurred to me that a good way to foster joy and goodwill and beneficence would be to discount those folks’ bills and offer them hot drinks on the house and the like. Everyone was so grateful and happy and friendly and if anything got expanded that night it was my fucking heart. It was achingly sweet to have so much happiness created by such a simple gesture. I should also say that I received very good tips that night even though it was slow, which was never the goal but which seemed to me like a fairly Jupiterian reward. Jupiter for me has always been happy to provide assistance when asked, with the understanding that I will have to work for what I’m after. Want more joy? Be nicer and more jovial. Want more money? Here’s a week of double shifts at work. Want to expand your blessings? Go expand someone else’s and I’ll sort you out. Want success? Take the initiative. Success.
Friday, oh my dear sweet Friday. Venus was the first planetary Deity I ever made contact with and holy fucking shit did I make contact. With only Sphere and Sundry’s Venus in Taurus oil, a costume change, and a recitation of the Orphic hymn to Venus I had The Empress of Desire herself, in all of her resplendence as the Morning Star explode into my bedroom. That moment was the closest I’ve ever come to shitting myself with an erection. As with all beautiful beings I’ve come into contact with, I didn’t know what to do once I had Venus in my bedroom, and I basically ran away and tried to figure out if I should banish the whole house or just burn it down. After my wife came home and verified that there was definitely something not sanctioned by official reality in the bedroom (easing my overwhelming fear that I had completely lost my mind) I ended up apologizing to Venus for my idiocy and incompetence. Over the years I have gotten to know her vibes and she seems to find me amusing, she has been an incredible help to both my wife and myself and our relationship and made life sweeter, softer, more creative, and more beautiful, loving, and passionate in every way. The things I ask Venus for are none of your fucking business. Needless to say, I took the initiative and it all worked out splendidly. Success!
Saturday, dreaded Saturday. Ruled by the dark lord of time and death, boundaries and restrictions, The Greater Malefic, Saturn. I have never been a fan of restrictions, boundaries or limits and have done my adolescent best to rage against them, indulging in the excessive consumption of every illegal substance known to man and basically just doing the opposite of what any rule-crazy fucker or good intentioned adult told me to do. I do, however, enjoy well built, finely crafted things with strong foundations, dedication, the inexorable progression toward my intended goals, the ability to move boundaries that have grown too tight, magic, finding treasure, and wealth. All of which I have been asking Saturn for whilst doing fuck-all to make it happen. So on this Saturday I decided to put my nose to the grindstone and do as many of the things I had tasked myself to do to further my long-term goals, and had been putting off due to lack of fun and interest, as I could before going to work. Hard to say how it went due to the time depth of the goals in question, and it seems that acting without expectation of immediate, or indeed any, reward is what Saturn is all about but I got the distinct impression when making my offering and prayer the next week that I was moving in the right direction and that Saturn appreciated the effort which is, in my experience, about as close to overjoyed as Saturn gets. Success.
An Overjoyed Saturn
Sunday was lovely. I asked for an increase in joy, cheeriness, energy, and wealth, to illuminate the path forward, to be seen by those who would further my goals and remain invisible to those who would do me harm (infinite thanks and gratitude to Dr. Al Cummins and Jesse Hathaway-Diaz for this tip about using the luminaries magically both to be seen and to be hidden, and for their podcast Radio Free Golgotha* and everything else they get up to). How to take the initiative? I don’t fucking know. I’m not an un-cheery fellow, folks seem to like me, but I can be a bit cynical, and I’ve historically been quite prone to depression and enjoyed the comforting darkness of oblivion rather than the sweet light of day. I struggled here y’all, and I ended up settling on just trying to be extra joyful: singing and playing and acting like I was that baby on The Sun card, like I had the sun in my heart and could feel that actual spark of starlight and divinity inside me. It took a while but in acting like I could feel that spark I ended up connecting with it, actually feeling it, and having a really lovely day full of pleasant encounters with friendly sunny people. I’m gonna call this one a success as well but it was the least forthcoming and I definitely had to work the hardest to get it.
Monday. Luminous, mellow, relaxing, quiet, creative, contemplative, magical, Monday. As a member of the Crustacean Crew, I love the Moon, it does tangibly weird things to my body and brain when I look at it and I can’t stop myself from looking if it’s visible. The 3 days on either side of the full Moon are very productive for me because during that time I very rarely sleep. I always hated Mondays while in school because some part of me knew that it was a holy day, the true sabbath, a day of rest and enjoyment (moon in Taurus remember), certainly not a day for bus rides with assholes to a school full of the worst humanity has to offer: hormonal teenagers. Mondays are truly special to me now that I can choose to treat them with the respect and reverence they deserve; I will not, unless faced by some as-of-yet undiscovered emergency, work on a Monday. Mondays are sacred to Shiva and he’s super fucking cool, enough said. My Lunar requests have to do with increasing my powers of manifestation, magical and psychic abilities, creativity, and material resources, as well as shrinking those things which no longer serve me and remaining hidden from those who would do me harm, and lighting my way through the darkness. So I worked on some magical projects and did some writing and reading, and some extra meditation to stretch those psychic and magical muscles. Also, I smoked a bunch of weed. I can’t say for sure if Monday was a success, my relationship with the Moon is always evolving (the dad in me wanted so badly to say waxing and waning) and I have found that feeling the cycles of the Moon and acting accordingly, putting in energy and starting and growing things while the moon waxes and resting and finishing while it wanes, has been a great way to honor and work with those energies. Success?
There you have it y’all, an entire week of taking the initiative and reaping the magical rewards. I don’t know why this is a lesson I need to keep learning but I’m hoping that having a record of it will keep me in the habit more often.
Since writing this some weeks back, I have noticed that keeping up with my magical initiatives has been much easier and that, even though I’m doing more every day, I seem to have more time and energy for the things I enjoy than I did before I started. Which could very well be a testament to the incalculable levels of sloth I was indulging in before I started than anything else. Either way, I am counting this as a win and am super grateful to that spirit of Mars for kicking my ass out of neutral and into a spluttering first gear.
*Myrrhkwood.com has no official affiliation with or to Sphere and Sundry, Dr. Al Cummins, Jesse Hathaway-Diaz, or Radio Free Golgotha beyond being a massive fan of everything they do.