Aves Salve and stunning artwork from Sarah Lawless.
On the day of the Thunder Moon, I received my Aves Salve from Sarah Lawless. She mentioned she would be discontinuing this labor-intensive product, and I could justify putting off a personal splurge no longer. It is an interesting salve that I’m not sure I’ve used to its full potential yet. I’ve used it three times, and each time it has left me completely unable to sleep afterwards. It is a poisonous product, and must be used with caution. It definitely has effects on me, but I found them so far to be a bit unnerving and I get the jitters something fierce. This may be something I put on the shelf but for once per month workings. I will also use it EARLY in the day so that I can recover from the stimulating effects by nighttime!
It is meant to be used for avian workings, those that call upon bird energies, fetches or spirit-flight. I’m certain I’ve only ever achieved this state during sleep, and I’ve grown a bit annoyed that I haven’t been able to ‘travel’ while conscious. I try not to get discouraged, and I may be mistaken, but it is difficult. I’ve done meditative work for many, many years. It is possible that I am unable to journey in this fashion, but it’s also possible that my complacency and laziness have grown over my Will! This must be rectified! Part of my quandary with my personal practice has been simple: purpose. What is the purpose of the working? Spirit-flight? Contact with the Other? I try to remember A Witches Primer in all of this. He says to visit your altar and say, “I’m here. Teach me.” That is what it is about for me. I’ve never been one for spells, and though I’ve done some to try my hand at it (and had good results), it’s really not the focus of my Craft. Mortal desires only take a person so far, and I find that can limit your mind, limiting your potential. And for all of my reading, these are books made by humans. Ariel says, “You will learn more from the Spirit World than any human being could ever teach you”. It’s more about the Mysteries, for me.
I received a free eBook from T. Thorn Coyle in my inbox last week that was serendipitously timed. It’s a book on jump-starting daily practice. I’ve read a few pages, but I need to sit down and follow the exercises. She recommends doing the Morning Pages (from The Artist’s Way by Julie Cameron), three pages of stream of consciousness writing, wherein your pen does not leave the page. As Thorn describes it, automatic writing, which is a practice where the subconscious or other spirit takes over and writes through you. I would guess this could also be the Higher Self expressing itself, expressing the soul’s higher purpose. I usually try to journal my dreams, then do morning pages after that, but this week did not go well for that goal. This needs to not be merely a goal, though, it needs to HAPPEN. This is the practitioners greatest tool: WILL. To quote Walter in The Big Lebowski (quoting Theodor Herzl), “If you will it, Dude, it is no dream.” By strengthening personal will, one need not ask permission or pray or supplicate. One MAKES IT HAPPEN. This is why each of us IS divine. We have the power to make it happen for ourselves. We need to be able to tune in, to understand how to think outside of mundane limitations. We must simultaneously be married to and divorce ourselves from the Ego. Again, paradox. It really is all about paradox.
Robin Artisson says that it is the spirit world that enables us to achieve these powers and goals, and therefore you have to explicitly state this in your working. I find this interesting, although he seems to be very ceremonial in his practice, and I can tell you right now that I am most definitely NOT ceremonial. My aversion to ceremony is fierce. Yes, I agree that these methods have incredibly strong power that are effective. But all that pomp, pages and pages worth of incantations? That’s just not how I roll. And my addled brain would never memorize all the verbage. Besides, I believe that just as there are myriad practices, there are myriad effective ways of getting spiritual work done. I believe in a pretty simple principle: if you say it is so, then MAKE IT SO. This very basic principle is where the power lies. It’s all about living your words, which is why truthfulness is the number one important rule here. And not merely not telling fibs or lies, it goes deeper than that, although it is also not telling fibs or lies. You must KNOW yourself, you must not DELUDE yourself, you must LIVE a reality that you CREATE. I’ve noticed a lifetime of my psyche skirting around very difficult truths because they are painful, traumatic, shameful. I still skirt them. These are the deeper truths that we must own up to in order to be effective. This is not nearly as easy as it sounds. This has been the bulk of internal work that I have done over these years, trying to face myself, my true self. It is hard. It is painful. It is shameful. It is a great burden and shadow. But IT IS ME. If we do not see the absolute, stark truth in ourselves, we will really never have effective power.
Boom. There it is.