So, how does a person blend the masculine with the feminine within themselves? Kelly-Ann Maddox had some wonderful advice for me in this significant task when she did my Energetic Shadow Map and met some of my allies and witnessed my inner mindscapes. Because I am more at ease with the slow, dark, deathly energies of the feminine, these are the waters I’m most often found wading around in. In one of area of the journey, Kelly-Ann witnessed my animus, who was dormant, eyes closed and sitting in the lotus position. (I’ve blogged about meeting my animus, shortly after she did my reading). She suggested that I try to engage more fully in the mortal realm, being present during my regular activities instead of engaging in escapism. After quite a lot of journaling on each aspect of her journey within me (which was incredibly detailed and loaded, absolutely loaded, with stuff I could spend a generous amount of time exploring) I started to heed that advice especially because I was, at the time, very much at odds with consensus reality, feeling like it was an utter distraction from that which I deem to be the most important work: inner work, the work of the soul. But we are here in this realm to learn from it, to experience it, to be an active participant in it. Though it took me far away from my inner realms where I’m most comfortable, my re-emergence into the mortal realm helped me. It helped my marriage, it helped my attitude at work where I felt so robbed of precious time for inner work and the energy it takes out of me, it helped me commit to my current field of study at the University. I have to admit, though, that I am so glad for summer break so that I might retreat back into my dark waters and bask in the rejuvenation of inner exploration. Who knows, maybe it will even kick me in the ass enough to actually marry the inner work with the mortal world magical workings that I tend to avoid.
Practical work that I’d like to focus on this summer include, of course, herbal- and wild-crafting, working more with the runes and understanding their web of mystery, staving and ecstatic postures, and chaos magic. I’ve come to realize that I think it would be quite easy for me to go in and out of different paradigms, as is the chaos method. In fact, that seems to be how I learn about a topic. I enter it, explore it, become it. It may not be something that I always hold onto or believe in as a permanent thought pattern, but I can enter its essence and work with it. It’s like when I first started realizing this path was unfolding before me, and I started reading pretty dubious material but even within that, I could find little nuggets of information that stimulated the exploration within. Then it led me to Wicca 101 type stuff and witchcraft, then into the myriad of veins within witchcraft and other mystery traditions and practices. I’m not sure that I’ve blogged about the thing, the major experience that led me this path in earnest, but it was such a profound and undeniable experience that I realized I had to open my mind to it. I had to let go of the pragmatism that I grew up with, that was pounded into me, that stifled me my entire life.
All of my life, I’d had what I guess you could call “mysterious” experiences. I could hear things, thoughts. I could sense, even feel, other people’s emotions. I saw and felt the ghost of a woman who lived at my dad’s house, and had an utterly freaky experience with the ghost of my own deceased grandfather. I could see when people were in serious pain. I could sometimes even see through the eyes of other people, usually in traumatic situations. As I became a rebellious teen, these feelings became too much for me, and I tuned it all out with drinking, drugs, punk music and very reckless behavior. I actively silenced the intuition within me, and nothing, NOTHING, could have been more stupid or dangerous for me during that time. Ignoring my intuition led me to very horrifying situations that I seemed to stroll into casually as only one who has a death wish can do (as I’ve prattled on about) and it was my therapist who returned me to tuning back into my intuition. I had at times throughout my young life been drawn to aspects of the occult, but it was always fleeting. I have a pagan relative, and so though witchcraft was a part of my household, she was quite private about it, and I never gave it too much thought. Fast forward many years and wisening experiences later, I was at my current job, and I had been called down into the basement office because someone had broken in. When I started looking around the area, something shifted. Time seemed to shift, my perception shifted. I suddenly could see and feel things that did not belong to me, but belonged to the person who entered the building. There were drops of his blood on the floor, and I could feel his fear in the blood, I knew where he ran, what he stole, how he panicked as he tried to find a way out. I could sense that he’d been chased and beaten, that he broke in as an escape from people who were after him. A few days later, I was called down to the storage closet in the same room because another clue had been found. When I came in, I saw the bloody glove, and as I carefully picked it up, I was flooded with panic, fear, like that of a cornered dog. Then the most uncanny thing happened: it was as if my third eye completely opened, and I was seeing through other eyes. I could suddenly see through his eyes, I could see as he wiped his bloodied nose and head with the glove as if it were me. I could see as he looked up at the high window in the closet, trying to find a way to get out. I learned later about the phenomenon of psychometry, which is the sensing of energy or “memories” contained within an inanimate object. This kind of thing had happened to me before, but I had denied it. This time I understood that it was something I needed to explore, the universe was speaking quite plainly to me. Then, I started to read. And I haven’t stopped.
Reading has been a great way to learn about and explore different theories, viewpoints, experiential sharing and the like, but one also has to put all of it through their own experience and understanding. Since I’ve done dreamwork and journaling for most of my life, I would say these two things are pretty much core practices to understanding and learning about a person’s own inner mindscape. This is how the soul will interact with the self, and I would say that barring any other thing, religion, belief, non-belief, spirituality, etc., these two practices could be a spiritual practice within themselves. I do not think that a person has to believe in any one paradigm to have a spiritual existence and a powerful relationship with the ineffable. Dogma and hard set ideas (most especially atheism and scientism) are what I think are some of the biggest hindrances to understanding the great mysteries of life and the meeting and understanding of the soul for the simple reason that to logical minds, to ordered minds and systems, the mysteries of the universe and the soul do not make sense. They are illogical. They do not abide by “rules” that we set. This is why the chaos method makes so much sense to me: it breaks down every system, it tears apart the rule book, throws away the dogma. Chaos by its very nature is that which does not adhere to order.
I could go on and on, but the mortal realm, my divine masculine, is calling me. Time to hit the Farmer’s Market and get some plants!! More later…
I found these awesome YouTube videos of shamanic drumming: