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The Darkness of The Deep

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About this blog

Personal views and musings from a lifetime of religious enquiry and spiritual exploration by a devoted God lover, Shaman and Vodou Initiate to the rank of Asogwe. The journey never ends, nor do the thoughts and tales I can tell. Some will get it, others never will. It is what it is.

Entries in this blog

Not A Rockstar

Where I am Now

People get confused starting out. This was brought home to me when I got a message on Facebook from someone here asking me if I really still did all the things I write about, and how can anyone try to do all that at once? It seems a good time to repeat that life is a journey, and if Spiritual pursuit is part of your life then that is also one.

I write this blog to get some basic information out there for people, and when I write I draw from my own experiences. At 59 so far, I have a few I can talk about. The person I am today is a natural shaman, with a lifelong passion in seeking Truth/God, who is presently dealing with the spontaneous awakening of kundalini into his meditative world. Things I have studied or done in the past are part of my knowledge base now. I do not actively practice as a priest in Vodou anymore. Things like numerology and palmistry and such were things I studied and naturally still know about but I don't do these things, never did read palms, for example, as my study into that determined it seemed to be empty. Other than the fact I remain alive, so presumably my life line has not run out yet, nothing else my palms supposedly say about me or my life is true. Numerology I never "did", though I did study it more than some things, very curious about it and connections it has to the Kabbalah and many other things in the Occult. It is something I note when I run across it, not something I do, if that makes sense. 

Do not limit yourself thinking "I am going to become a witch" and then go do that to the exclusion of all else or imagine you may be that for your whole life. If you really are a Seeker, it never ends. You seek, you find, things you understand change, you grow, sometimes, you bleed and back away and head another way. Your understanding of things will deepen, you will see what once were "other" ways are not as different as you supposed the further you go. You might well be a witch after all, but your understanding of what that is will change beyond all measure if you are active and working and seeking.

I meditate for short periods several times a day. I have a few inactive altars here from Vodou. I have hundreds of books. I teach some minor things to a few people that I feel I should and do not teach the rest directly. Once in a while I go to Mass with my Mother as it means a lot to her and I do not mind visiting God there or anywhere. That is my religion nowadays. What you DO is not the same thing as what you ARE. I remain all that I used to be but it is in transition always, sort of like our bodies are constantly replacing cells. 

This blog is to write things I am asked for or to toss out information someone curious may like to know about later. The occult and the search has been my obsession this lifetime, so I have covered a lot of ground, but, I never have let grass grow under my feet. If it was not true, or not right for me, I was moving along. I am on a mission, a personal one to find God, to learn the truth, and this is very personal, it can be unique to us all, isn't something to teach as such, but, it can be shared to a degree. Most of what I write is just data, things learned, to help someone else as they hike onward, too. 

I write to serve.

Not A Rockstar

Kundalini Rising: Week 2

Kundalini energy comes in two valences, sometimes described as masculine and feminine, though this is not really accurate except in a vague, sort of esoteric sense. In the early stages it is basically Fire and Ice. I am told that with balance and experience that sense of temperature fades off. It has been a couple weeks of a great deal of research and making a few competent contacts willing to talk with me and point me in the right directions to find my answers while I learn better how to simply know those from within myself through this energy.

It is literally fire and ice for some. Shivering chills as the feminine form of it works to prepare the body to better handle the masculine fire when it comes through more harshly. It is the fire that blows minds and lands people in mental health units from all I have read. This is why it is very strongly advised for people not to try to cause it to awaken. They end up rousing that fire and are not prepared, and cannot handle it. This is not a cool thing to try for a while and then move on to something else. It is forever and sets you on a course you may never have planned for or even wanted for yourself. It is real, it is the ultimate passionate dispassion, it isolates you as you increasingly find yourself out of step with this world and the things you used to like doing. It takes constant mindfulness to monitor yourself, to intentionally make yourself do that which you do not wish to bother with anymore when you know you should bother. I was reading a post today from someone who was dealing with this, speaking candidly with fellow awakened people for advice, about how he no longer could bear doing things which did not work to enhance his spiritual quest and desire for more. He has lost friends, his family thinks he is losing his mind, he no longer cares about college or a job or watching TV or anything but meditation and the bliss he now knows well, and yet, he struggles and reaches back to the person he remembers being and doesn't know what to do to be right. You cannot turn it off. This is not on only one day a week. It does not go away when you get up from meditation or wake up from a cool dream in the morning. 

I felt for him, I already have seen the potentials in this "gifting". He dived in eagerly when it came on and pursued it aggressively and in a matter of months posted this today. My sympathy is with his quandary, not his inevitable achievements. You cannot go back. You cannot un-ring a bell or un-say a word. His struggle is due to this being the first time he really has become aware of being different, and apart and not fully into the Matrix anymore. 

I have been accustomed to being seen as the odd one for my own experiences, until I learned to go silent about them, and now, I am on the other end of it all and no longer silent at all nor concerned with fitting in or making everyone happy. My goal now is to get some few things I have learned out there to help someone else later, who comes across what I post and relates to what I am really saying under it all. I don't own a TV, though the lady and daughter have one apart from me. I am not interested in it and other than casually looking over the news online for things like the volcano in Hawaii these days or the Royal wedding of Meghan and Harry, it bores me rapidly. So, I am already ahead of some in this way and well aware how the more you know about Spirit, the less you care about transitory matters.

The fire has come in for me now, and they say that is what changes you, the ice is what prepares you for that to flow more easily to do what it does in transforming the person connected with it and to God through it. I feel it as very warm but not fire, I am not being burned within or feeling as if my mentality is any less acute and steady than it usually is, so the balance seems to be alright for now. But, I am very aware of what I should be doing here, and I make myself do those things. My elderly Mother needs care and she is deeply into her Catholicism and wants to talk about that, has no idea about this thing I am going through. Like it or not, I go and see to her and get her to her appointments and teach myself to be still inside and not resent or be impatient. For Mom, this is everything, I am all she has now Dad is dead, and to her this is life. What good is a connection to "god" if it cannot relate to that and to need in others and bringing itself into such actual loneliness as she begins to perceive that Death is not as far ahead of her as it has always been before. My daughter needs me, my wife also does. These do not go away and in my view of it all, these things should not go away and are not secondary to the call of the Kundalini on me now. The God I know understands this. I would do Him a gross disservice if I allowed anyone close to me to ever feel He caused them to somehow lose me and my love. God relates and so I must work harder to relate even better than I used to do and not allow that to falter at all. 

So, what is it all about "Rockstar"? Is it God, which connects into someone with this awakened and flowing? 

It is your own Higher Self, I think, and that is a genuine part of God. In this sense we are God, each of us, and God is not something alien or apart except in our own minds as we struggle to conceive of what God is and as is our wont, to put skin and halo and whatever props we think God should have on it. We have created this being over there somewhere we worship and make up rules for and blame for things and pray to and that isn't God. I have come to realize this. God is in us, and it is as active as we wake up and take responsibility for this world as the children of the Divine that we are. 

Do I still pray to God? Sometimes. It is hard to change instantly despite the realizations I have been through these past few days. I still see God the Whole as something far vaster and a bit apart from me, who is God the Little Bit, but, we are One. I still love God the Whole tremendously, it remains my passion, but, this has not transferred to myself, though I am working on getting my self-valuation correct. There is a need to love yourself to a real point to grow and evolve, but it does not have to be this ego trap so many fall into. You know, those who do not speak in love but talk down to you in arrogance no matter what other wisdom is in their literal words, and they really think they speak in love. I run into them in a lot of places, including the Kundalini community. We are all yet children, learning. But, I also run into some amazingly wise and truly good folks there as well. 

Personally, I am back to sleeping more normally now the fire has come in more and I am more in balance. I wake up remembering no dreams but as if I am in the middle of a conversation I do not recall but know new things and understandings. I am always aware of being deeply loved, and this is always on my mind. It tempers what I do and what I say in a way I have never dealt with before. I am conscious of everything I do and if I lose my temper it is instantly in my face and I back off and make it right and get back to calm again. I am getting better at catching it before it gets away from me, which would impress you if you knew what an expressive sort I am under it all. There is so much love, just so much, that really temper is a weak thing and fading away these days. I will be glad to see it die and fall away. 

I feel I should add here that some out there who are awakened and dealing with all of this do not have a clear god concept. Some do not work with one at all, just their higher self. Some use Allah, some use various Pagan deities. It is all the same in the end. There is only one God and we are all part of that truth, and it is going to be alright with us. It is going to be alright.

I love you.

I write to serve.

Not A Rockstar

Why I Believe

Day shift always was the worst for me, I am a night owl, I like night shift work. As if the 6am to 6pm shift was not bad enough, having to be on the road in the squad car by 4:30 to be there on time just seemed like insult to injury. Having to get up before dawn is purgatory. There is not enough coffee in the world to make that easier and I needed my first cup as I drove along Highway 98, heading to my beat. 

The one consolation is that nobody was on the roads then. I usually had plenty of time to meditate and have my quiet time and wake up before the stuff hit the fan. This morning, though, there was one other vehicle moving, a brand new dark green Ford pick up. For no known reason, it drew my attention over and over despite my efforts to ignore it and stay on my quiet time. You have to know I was a great cop in many ways, but for sure I was never a legend for my traffic enforcement.  If you were not an active hazard I really could care less, to be honest. Me blue lighting and forcing my way into the insane Florida tourist traffic to stop someone sailing through it above the speed limit seemed a worse safety risk than just ignoring it, and if you did things I also did, I cared even less about it. My ticket obsessed sergeant hated me for this attitude and yes it did reflect on my performance reports.

This pick up was driving normally, not speeding, and there was no reason for it, but it obsessed me inexplicably. I had to stop it, had to deal with it, I felt this all through me, and not a bit of that was coming from my brain. I had no reason to stop it, no desire to stop it, no.... dammit, no tag. There was no tag on it, plus this insistent sense that I MUST stop it, something was very wrong, and with a heartfelt, unuttered curse, I reached over and flipped the blue lights then radioed the stop into dispatch. 

It was one of the loneliest stretches along the highway right there, beside the Gulf of Mexico. You had to be careful pulling off as the sand was a liar, and seemed solid enough but in bad areas was like confectioners sugar from the poundings of past hurricanes and would drop you deeper than your axels. This guy was not wise to it, but he did pick a small area that managed to hold him up and instead of pulling over on the shoulder he pulled into a sort of small lay by which was blocked a bit from the highway in view thanks to a surviving dune sort of remnant behind us once we stopped. He pulled in nose first, and I drew up behind him stopping with the front of my car about ten feet behind his back bumper, and adjusted my spotlight to shine into his mirrors just enough to make it harder to see where exactly I was coming from if this was gonna go bad. I left my car door open for cover as there was nothing out here otherwise and we go with tactics on this sort of thing at night alone for miles. My nearest possible back up was a mile away and due to get off soon and probably half asleep though my stop would roust him out to drift this way if only for something to do to stay awake.Second to domestics, traffic stops are the most likely time to die if you are a cop. 

Nice guy, clean cut black man who was appalled, it seemed, about the tag and went into his back seat where I noticed no less than four Florida tags laying around on the floor. He had just bought the truck he told me and one of those tags there went to it.

Problem. It doesn't work that way. All four were from one of three different counties also. 99% of the time this scenario would prove they were stolen tags. Problem. That cup of coffee I longed for before shift was looking further away all the time.

So, need your license and registration, please, and we will sort this out. Nice truck, both of us want to be on our way and if I just get a good tag here we are done. No need for a ticket or anything.

Tyrone was good with that, seemed happy, and gave me his license and then eyed the glove compartment.

The purchase papers were in there, insurance, too, he said, needed to reach for them so I could see what they had done and which tag went to the truck. He didn't want any trouble.

Between his literal hand and the glove compartment was a backpack on the driver's seat open at the top. Nothing in his manner to concern me, no reason to be concerned and I had already told him I had no plan to ticket him over the tag, once we sorted he had one, in fact. He seemed really calm and pleasant, and I certainly was. Really. I was a nice cop unless you really worked for it and Tyrone was not working for anything but to get back on the road and done with this.

Go for it, I told him, raising the weapon grade flashlight I had in hand to light where his hand was going and reveal what was in the glove compartment as soon as it opened. My attention was there, on his hand, not on the empty beach sand stretching out from where I stood all the way to the Gulf. Nowhere at all for anything or anyone to not be seen for a hundred yards, moon high above lighting the spot like a small stage area. He smiled and reached for the glove box.

"GET BACK!" I heard a male voice say commandingly an instant before the rest.

My breath rushed out from the unexpected blow of a hand striking the shock plate of my bullet proof vest so hard it lifted me off my feet and threw me back all the way to fall behind my open car door and I looked up in disbelieving confusion and shock to see the lights revealing Tyrone's hand coming up with a gun and he turned sharply to shoot it where I had been standing and then panicked in confusion to find me not there. The way he jerked and looked out as if I maybe had stepped aside would have been comic under other circumstances. As it was, I was freaking out and radioed for backup, gun sighted, and drew down on him and he panicked and floored his truck, which buried it halfway to China in that blasted sand. 

I shouted at him the usual, "Don't make me shoot you, put the gun down, it isn't worth this Tyrone, drop the gun" as was trained into me automatically even as I was looking everywhere and trying to comprehend what had happened, who had thrown me back with that impossible strength, whose voice had I heard?? Who had somehow just saved my life??

My backup screamed in, spraying sand for a quarter mile and long story short, we got Ty cuffed and secured and it turned out the truck had just been stolen about ten minutes before I saw him from the local Ford dealership. Tyrone, poor fellow, had a list of wants and warrants and even his gun was stolen from another break in he had not been charged in yet but would be now he was caught with stolen goods on him. 

It took eight hours to fully book him as his prints kept drawing new hits all over the state as the system churned onward. Eight hours. Pages and pages of writing besides just the arrest I had him on. 

I am not a religious sort, but the way I was raised I know the Bible back and forth. Some of it I take to heart as a good thing to know and follow. In there somewhere is the story of a wealthy man who had a little man who owed him money dragged before him. The little man told him how hard times were and he did not have the money and the rich man noted it was a large amount but, fair enough, he had no wish to be harsh so he forgave the debt in full. Forgave it all and let the fellow go. Overjoyed, the little man hurried home in relief to be freed of the huge debt over his head and then noted that one of his neighbors still owed him a small amount and had him arrested and charged for not paying this pittance back to him. 

The rich man found out, that the fellow he had forgiven for a large sum was prosecuting someone else for a tiny debt mercilessly. It made him angry and he had the fellow arrested and punished him until he paid his full debt back in full for proving to be so ungrateful and mean despite so much having been forgiven for him.

I did not charge Tyrone with trying to kill me, drawing on me, attempting to shoot me. I was going to die that morning, but Someone intervened and saved me from bleeding out in the sand there. It was not my skill or clever detective wits that spared me. Someone, "Other", had spared me. I felt even thinking to charge him for that would be like that little man not being thankful enough for his forgiveness to forgive anyone else. Report finally done I walked back and gave Ty his paperwork and talked with him quietly, as the other holding cells were full with inmates down for court appearances. I explained all the warrants and other things he was charged with and the theft of the truck and four stolen tags as well, and then told him I was not going to charge him for attempting to kill me out there because he had more than enough trouble to get sorted out and so I simply forgave him for it.

That was the first time I have ever seen a hardened felon sit down and weep, just weep, as if his heart had broken. I left him there and have not seen him since so I guess he pled out.

Me? I have struggled with that morning ever since. I have had good friends die on the job and each time guts me anew to wonder why me? Why was an average person like me saved that way and these other, really good guys, died when it went bad? Survivors guilt is what it is they say, and there is no help for it. It was not Ty who did that, he was not even close to the right position to have done that, I am not sure any human could have had the strength to so exactly hit me mid-chest and lift me up, fling me backwards about 15 feet to drop without falling behind my open door like that. It was a moon drenched area that morning, wide open for hundreds of yards to the open Gulf of Mexico all the way to the horizon. No person walked up unseen to do that and then strolled away as invisibly. Bullet proof vests are stiff, some come with shock plates for even higher protection over the heart. There is a pocket and if you have it issued, a ceramic plate that can absorb very high powered rifle rounds which can be slid down over your heart. That hand hit that and lifted me away from the danger as it said "Get back".

I do not "believe" because I "need to" believe. I do not believe because I am weak or am really religious or delusional or whatever ridiculous reasons some few wish to blame for people who believe there is more out there, perhaps even God. It is not even faith for me. I have the evidence, I know utterly what happened that morning, I know. I know. I will always know and never doubt for a moment that there is Other out there. It touched me, I can still feel that imprint of a hand and hear that voice. What exactly it was, I do not know. Maybe an angel? Maybe God? I saw nothing there so cannot tell you that. The voice was male, the strength in that hand was infinite.

Every single word of this is truth. This is why I believe and will not ever be shaken from it. My life is all about me, like yours is all about you. I know God Is and there is Other out there. Not faith, I know this. 

This is why I believe.

I write to serve.

Not A Rockstar

Communion

Hushed, like a gossamer veil I felt the hush, the peace, the quiet settle over me and sink into my inner self as I sat still, meditative, waiting on The Lord. An inner shift as flow was achieved, the silent smile and hugging warmth of becoming One consciously once more. I let myself think just enough to form and release the Intent for this sitting. Me. This was just for me, this time.

Shadows shifted and my heart lifted to come out in a place of my own Creation, a small world, moon actually, where the nights are so long the plants have evolved to store energy, which they release over the dark time in glowing droplets of golden light for life around the tiny radiance to prosper until the sun rises again. It is an impossible and unforgettable vison at night which someday I may bring to life in a science fiction novel and pass it off as story fodder. Light and fragrance drop by drop giving life through the utter darkness. Days are even more wondrous here, and it is all mine. I made this, from the black sand beaches framing the inland sea to the trees and expressers of life energy so life could abound here despite the light cycles. Without those, only lifelessness was possible here. Intervention was required, so I did that once I first found it and saw the need and solution.

I walked a while, waded in the cool water, savoring cool feet and warm body in the air there as whales blew in the distance, thoughts drifting over various hurts and releasing them as I found them, bringing myself back to center, emotionally. I could feel God within, walking with me, the love, bliss. This is why I named this moon Communion. 

After a time, I sat down on the beach, near where a small grouping of starflowers were dancing in the slight breeze and cheerfully releasing a drop of molten gold light periodically, like a magician revealing a grand sleight of hand. Small radiance, not enough to disturb the night, but the energy plentiful for the naruk trees towering high above to soak in and rest until the next sunrise, without stress.

It didn't take much light to dispel the killing darkness, we mused, watching a drop slowly form and pool and finally drip down to glow into the rich soil and vanish eventually as it dispersed. My mind drifted back to when I first started trying so hard to bring peace and light and hope to the darkness I was confronted with in life, and how terribly hard that is in a realm which doesn't know it needs it, is stuck on never changing, controlling, retaining what has always been.

Exhausting, failure prone, too, as I was yet part of that myself and so struggled between the pull of my soul toward light and the weight of the darkness in my form. A thousand naysayers born for every dreamer, obsessed with stamping out the embers of light which might escape their traps of thought. It was hard the first few lifetimes. Killing even. Heart breaking. 

But, you come back, you keep coming back, and you grow and you never need to relearn those lessons already bought with blood, and the day dawns when you are born again and stand up and realize how to beat the exhaustion and the shadows.

Stop trying. Stop.

Wake up and become. Be light. Effortless light. 

It doesn't take much light to dispel the darkness. No rush, we have been at this for ages and will persist.

Open the door into the night and darkness does not flow in, but the light flows out. It is flowing. Flowing.

Be Light.

Not A Rockstar

Numerology 102

So, how to get the numbers? First, you write out all the letters in the alphabet.

A

B

C

etc. through Z

Then beside them write the numbers 1-9 sequentially, repeating as you go. So:

A 1

B 2

C 3

etc.

You end with basically this result:

1= A, J, S

2= B,K,T

3= C,L,U

4= D,M,V

5= E,N,W

6= F,O,X

7= G,P,Y

8= H,Q,Z

9= I,R

 

You deal with dates thusly: May 18, 2018 (the day of this blog post) would be simply, 5+1+8+2+0+1+8 = 25= 2+5= 7. The date number for the post is 7.

Months are simply reduced to the number the month is in the year, and May is the fifth month, so a 5. FYI, November is not a master number in this situation but simply added as an 11 into the equation. Do this with your birth date and the resultant value is your life path number, considered to be the most important number in numerology for you.

A couple fun numbers to get for yourself is next.

Your Name Number is thought to reveal major influences in your personal and professional life. You write out your FULL, legal, name, then add together the number value above for each letter and total then reduce them down into a single digit. Only if the final number is a master number do you not do this. 

You can also do this with the name you give when introducing yourself or signing documents. Say my name is James George Doe legally, but I always introduce myself as Jimmy Doe. The name number for Jimmy Doe will tell me, supposedly, how others see me, versus how I really am (my legal name number). 

www.NUMEROLOGY.COM is heavily based on Decoz' work so visit there if you want to play with this some more.

disclaimer: I have zero to do with this site nor Mr Decoz beyond some emails I am certain he no longer even recalls LOL. 

Barring questions, this is it for me and Numerology. Have a great day, friends.

I write to serve.

 

Not A Rockstar

Numerology 101

There are as many forms of divination as there were cultures through history, at least it seems that way if you ever went very far in seeking to learn some of them. Reading tea leaves, casting dice or runes, reading palms are some of them. In the West, today, perhaps astrology and Tarot are the better known ways of getting one's fortune told through an action or item, versus a psychic reading, which purports to get the information directly from a spiritual contact or ability. I studied a lot of them, have always been keenly curious about history and the occult, and when it is both, I am doubly so. 

Numerology is a very old school of thought which is more foundational than some other forms of prognostication, in that, like the Kaballah, we can see it turning up within the structure of other fortune telling methods. One could be forgiven for going so far as to claim that Numerology and Kaballah are interlinked deeply, and that Numerology is the non-Judaic form of Jewish and Kabbalah mysticism which moved out into the world while the Kabbalah stayed within Judaic friendly mystical circles. This is my hypothesis about it, in more modern context. Numerology may have actually predated the Kabbalah as an idea, but this is outside the scope of what I know about. There are numerological presences within Chinese Astrology and many other very old methods for divination, though when exactly it was added in to expand the thoughts I do not know. This exceeds the range of my studies and curiosity over my life.

What sets it apart for me is that it is one of the few such things which I did not toss out the window of my mind as I went over it as being basically trash in actual use. It does shine light on insights for me, it has some use, but, like nearly everything else, is often put to use in ways that seem to exceed that, for me. I have said some things are "nouns" in knowledgeable sentences about the hidden things, and other things are more adjectives. I consider it an adjective. Many others, such as Hans Decoz, whom I consider to be the foremost Master Numerologist in the world today, would never agree with me and have developed entire systems of predictions based on it for everything. Some of those are solid hits. Others are not for me. I must tell you though that I have had the pleasure of speaking with Mr. Decoz, through email exchanges while I was learning, and the man is brilliant and this is easily one of the better forms of divination for someone who just cannot get into the cards or stars nor feels very fey yet wants to divine things for fun or serious study. Numerology is a system and may well be what you will delight in and find fascinating. Learn it and run with it. It requires no special gift but learning and a good mind for how numbers interact and are involved with everything. His book, Numerology, Key To Your Inner Self (1994) is absolutely all you need and is masterful. I wore my copy out and it is the only book on the subject I recommend without any reservations. He has also produced software which does readings based upon his work and many of the online readings you can buy in Numerology is done on his work and can be startling in how accurate they are about you based only on numbers derived from your name, your birthdate, nickname, really basic real world things reduced to numbers. Even so, there are other versions out there and nowhere near as good as his work, so find his stuff.

Moving along, the basics involve the numbers 1 through 9, 11, 22, and 33. There are dozens of formulas on how to derive your life number, or a host of other numbers from your personal data, or places or situations and reduce those down to one of these numbers for a reading on them. Hans, for example, is big on running the numbers for prospective business names to forecast how well it will do and choosing which name to go with based on that. He has numbers for everything.

I never took it that far. Tarot was my big divination tool until I didn't need it anymore. Numerology as it plays out in that format is how I used it the most beyond a full reading once from Hanz' work. That reading (available in some places still online for about 20 bucks US or so from what I noticed as I googled a bit to see how things stood today before starting this promised blog post series on Numerology) was startling in some of its insights into me, a bit less so in how it described my life, but over all worth some credibility given to it. Certainly it vastly exceeded any astrology reading for any given day, week or month I have ever bothered to get to check. 

If you want to take this further, his book is your finest move to make, get it and read it and use it. As he is who started me on what I know about Numerology you will find similitudes in some of my own basic translations of the numbers. Where they differ is my own thoughts as I used them over the years in Tarot interpretation. Where they are the same, credit Hans Decoz. When the best is out there, why learn from anyone else? 

Now, the fast and furious number meanings according to Not A Rockstar are as follows. I have kept this very simplistic but if you really want to know more, we can consider going further into it.

For *ME*, I see the numbers as expressing a journey of the heart (or situation) for a person. I was a Tarot reader, used it this way, I remind you. I did use reversals, so in parenthesis I jot down some negative meanings if the energy of the number is misused). Not all meanings apply in a given reading or usage. 

1. INCEPTION, first cause, origin, new birth, beginnings, a lot of energy, masculine (weakness, premature, thwarted, abortive).

2. DUALITY, potential, coming together, partnership, meeting of the minds, cooperative, feminine (deception, careless, very sensitive to any criticism)

3. TRINITY, teamwork, joyfulness, talents, progress, good energy (superficial, vain, intolerant)

4. EARTH, grounded, stable, foundations, steady, solid, stable (boring, pedantic, unfeeling, stodgy)

5. CHANGE, grounded, pivotal, transformative, flux, new energies, freedom, shifting gears, preparation (unstable, irresponsible, chaos, weakness, confusion)

6. CONSOLIDATION, early fruits, maternal, nurturing, some results and adjusting for progress, healing, pausing to learn/assess and preparing to move forward knowledgably (overbearing, anxious, cynical, jealousy)

7. SPIRIT, Sacred, bringing all parts together, seeking, focus, studying the matter, introspection (dissonance, back stabbing, awkwardness, fear, cowardice, not seeing the truth)

8. BALANCE, power, success, street savvy in the matter, knowledge, gains, business acumen, (cruel, zealotry, intolerance, religious zeal in a negative sense for a thing or idea)

9. ADEPT, complete, self-sufficient, caring, humanitarian, sharing, giving, reaping (fickle, greed, miserly, self-pitying, mental instability)

Master numbers:

11. MASTER INTUITIVE: the Psychic, the intuitive one, the insightful, wisdom, clear vision.

22. MASTER BUILDER: one gifted in turning dreams into reality, Creator.

33. MASTER TEACHER: one gifted in expressing wisdom and imparting it to others.

The negative side to Master numbers is that when not realized they devolve into their composite form, so 11=1+1=2  , 22 would devolve to a 4, 33 would devolve to a 6.

Only Master numbers are not reduced automatically to one of the 1-9 basic numbers. 

I hope this helps as a basic introduction to Numerology. Feel free to ask questions, I can dig up a website with Hans' work behind it if need be for you. It is an interesting pseudo-science and as I said is great for those who do not feel psychic and would enjoy playing with a divination form which doesn't need that so much at all. As systems go it is huge and can be applied to almost anything as a tool to add more light or insight into a matter. Depending on the application the interpretations will differ but not in thrust much I think.

Much love to all.

I write to serve.

Not A Rockstar

Kundalini Rising: Week 1

A week ago, my whole perspective on life and reality changed when my meditations were disturbed by a cold energy rushing up through me and it felt like it flowed my eyes, and I cried. I was somewhere else in that time, a bright place, unable to see for it, I could hear the rushing of wind, and felt as if my body was immersed in cold water, which I could feel rippling all over and sort of encircling my shoulders. There was no fear, it was actually a very blissful experience, but, it did surprise me and I nearly broke the meditation in a reflexive grab to get control back, be in control. 

For the past week I have been living with this and studying to find out what the heck Kundalini even is, and what it is about. I still do not feel that I have a real good definition for what it is, but, something close is that this is the God energy out there connecting with the God energy within us. That can no doubt be picked apart, but, it is in the ball field of what a definition would be. I have also read horror stories of how this has destroyed many people and landed them in mental health units. Most of those were playing and trying to cause it to happen, or especially drug abusers who were also playing with dope and mixing it with spirituality. Not all of them, though. Still, learning this has made me all that more hard core against the notion of using drugs as a shortcut to gain spiritual growth. You are deluding yourself if you do. Damaging your mind and thinking your glimpses of mental instability are divine is delusional.

I have been blessed, or my decades of meditation and heartfelt searching to know more about God and spirituality has helped me, with a much calmer awakening, which seems paced at my speed. I have never done yoga, it seems like simply a low impact type of stretching workout and fine, just not for me. I like swimming or walking, myself. I have not studied Eastern Religions beyond a very sketchy concept of what they are. That stuff came into my generation with The Beatles and I was one of those few who never got into that band or culture. Give me a Monkees album over that Beatles stuff. But, I did have a friend who was severely into the Beatles and because they meditated, she did and she taught me about it when I was in Japan, so I was about ten years old or so then. I liked meditating but I never did like her Beatles, sadly enough. But, the point being that meditating for so long and seeking for so long, has developed The Witness within me pretty well and this is probably a major reason why it is going in a stable way early on at least. I have also taken advice and backed off on meditating and doing much spiritual work to let it settle in and quiet down as those are known to be stimulants for it.

Over this week, though, I have about doubled in my need for sleep. I have been averaging about ten hours a 24 hour period since this happened. I cannot verify claims that caffeine becomes a problem, I still drink my pot a day and don't notice any effects. Kundalini is not just energy. It is alive, intelligent and communicates on an intuitive level. I mean I don't hear words, but, I do get a plain sense for what it intends to convey emotionally, and sometimes it is clear enough my own brain tries to put it into words, but, it is obvious my mind is doing it when it happens. These days the message is mostly "I love you."

I have read many people trying hard to get this active in themselves, and as many warnings not to do that. Gentle as my week has been, I have to agree with the warnings. Kundalini comes with its own policing activity. Abuse it and lose your mind, basically. Instant karma. I have also read many posts from people begging to know how to stop it and turn it off, make it go away. It doesn't, though it can be grounded to a point and calmed down. It is not a religion to be put away or dealt with just on Sundays. I think if I had known about it before I would not have pursued it. It came for me spontaneously, was nothing I knew about. Because it has, I will learn to deal with it and will grow with it. I love God more than anything else so there is not even a decision to be made, but, I would not have pursued it knowingly, I suspect. Now it is here, I will pursue it, with everything I have, for the same love. Kundalini is annihilating bliss. I think I have been annihilated, just the pieces are all still up in the air. 

This may be my final post about it. I am not sure as yet if I should talk more about it. 

I write to serve.

Not A Rockstar

Eastern religions never held appeal for me, beyond admiration for the sheer age and devotion of them. When I was a child in Japan, Shinto and Buddhism were all around me. I remember standing and gazing up at Gautama Buddha and not even being as tall as his knee. None of it attracted me beyond interest as a child, but it also was not foreign seeming. I was very comfortable in Japan. It felt then like home and still seems like it was when I look back, on an emotional level. Perhaps I had a past life there, or several, but, for all I have some recall of past lives, I have none about the Orient at all. 

But, I was born this life with a passion for God, into a life which set me at odds with organized religion, strangely enough. I have written some of that in previous blog posts. It has resulted in an adult who abhors heavily organized religions of any kind which are controlling, but a very deep spirituality of many flavors and faith systems along the way.

But, for all I answer a lot of random questions around the forums, having studied or worked in those areas, had you ever asked me about kundalini, I could not have said much without googling it and that would be shallow. Same for any depthy questions on Eastern Religions. Never have gone there. Never was curious even.

I meditate a great deal, though. No mantras, none of that, I simply relax and have trained my mind to go quiet and be still and listen for God as I think of it, and if something like a worry or thought creeps in or distraction, I observe it, note it and dismiss it. I do this several times a day for varying lengths of time, five minutes here, twenty there as time allows before the phone rings or the dog barks and needs to go out. I have done this for years.

So imagine my surprise to be typing away this past Wednesday on my science fiction novel at home, and decide I needed a break, so I sat back and started to meditate for a few minutes.

It did not end up that way. Out of nowhere a rush of cold energy flowed up through the base of my spine up my spine and seemed as if it hit the top of my skull and stopped and overflowed out of my eyes in tears. I cried for a while until it abated, then sat there, letting the experience soak in and this strangeness of raw energy flowing over me like cold water and fire and ...bliss. Bliss.

It remains there though is less now as I learn more about how to control it and my emotions. I have done some research and verified what happened to me. I think I am still in mild shock, because I never expected it, and it has shifted a lot for me and how I see things. I have found people in that community are about as merciful as some here, which is to say I reckon I will be going this alone mostly. I got here somehow on my own so I surely should do better now with this energetic connection going for me now, right?

I do not expect to go run off to convert to Buddhism or anything of the sort. I am going to stay right where I am, as a God loving shaman with a lot of other experiences behind him. Shakti, as I am told is the word for this cold energy that rises, came to me as I am so there we are. I will find out what happens now, and where it takes me. 

Like everything else in my life.

 

Not A Rockstar

So, You Want To Learn The Occult

So many eager new faces, excited over an experience and hurrying out to find someone, anyone, to tell them what it was all about and validate it for them. I have watched them come and go over the years and sure seen a lot of emotional bloodshed. It is not friendly out here, you will not get your validation from others very often, you may never have answers to the questions you are asking. But, I do offer this blog entry as a general guideline of extreme basics.

The occult is vast, it covers so much more ground than you will ever get to in a lifetime that you do not even begin to comprehend yet. It is a very vague term which only means that which is hidden. It includes divination, such as tarot cards or runes or astrology or palmistry. It includes so-called psychic things, such as mediums, clairvoyants, and channels. It includes the paranormal, such as ghost hunting and séances. It includes a great variety of magical traditions and forms. It includes elemental magic and relationships, such as the Fae and wee folk. It includes shamanism and journeying to the vast unknowns within us all. It includes a lot more than even this.

My best advice is to begin somewhere. If you came to wonder and want more information because you think you are clairvoyant, for example, then focus on that one thing at first. Get proficient with it or at least knowledgeable about what is said about it from reputable sources. Branch out at will but don't try to chase it all, you will end up with nothing in the end of that. I recommend a notebook and diarizing what you think and find out and how you think about things as you go. You will not remember it all later or won't recall it exactly. 

The occult is hidden, and not a crowded arena. You go it alone for the most part, finding a few friends along the way. This is not the road for the bubbly sort who loves tons of people and getting along with everyone. Most people will not understand you or your interests or concerns. Many will actively dislike you if they know what you are motivated to study. Far too many today will be determined to mock you or even insist you have to be mentally ill to ever see anything or even believe in the Unseen or paranormal. The wise develop a thick skin, and they learn to keep their own counsel. That means they learn to shut up and keep it to themselves for the most part. Generally, if you have an active spiritual reality you can ask for a teacher or help or a friend and one will come along in your life if you need them. Some will be there for an email exchange and then gone, others will become friends. You get what you need, not always what you want.

The isolation that comes with this road has a few pitfalls. The main one is that you are alone and personally responsible for yourself when it comes right down to it. That means you alone are your own truth tester, your own filter, your own judge. This is the single most critical thing you will ever do in this life, to learn how to discern rightly and refuse to entertain empty things no matter how cute they are to hear at the time. Children play. The occultist is deathly serious about learning more and making progress on his or her own journey of awakening and mastery. There is no progress playing with silly fantasies. There is no wisdom in hanging onto something you know under it all is not real. You will fail if you do not face your own ego and wishes at times to impress someone or do something amazing and root it out of yourself. The desire to impress others, the concern even in what others think are major flaws and will trip you up if you do not work on it each time it comes up and you realize it. 

The biggest waste of time in the world to me is one of two extremes, in which one denies everything paranormal utterly, or the one who believes any claim he hears. Balance is the summation of success and survival on the adventure into the occultic realms. You have to rid yourself harshly of the dubious claims you come across, and be very strict in what you see as possible, and even stricter in what you deem to be probable. This is very hard for the new student to accept. Just a few days ago one of those said to me that any spirit she could interact with was welcome and better than no spirit at all. I totally remember and empathize with that feeling, but it is the treasure map leading to becoming roadkill. I am not arrogant to say so nor wrong. If she persists too long and actually has contacted something beyond her fantasy world, it can destroy her life and sanity if it is really negative. Much of the occult is about training your mind and mentality, how you perceive reality, and in delving into some of the dark corners of ourselves we can unleash very bad things for us before their time and before we are ready to handle them and defuse them. Plus, not everything out there is benign or from your self. There actually are other things out there. Respect that. Also know that it is not like you will never get another chance if you reject a negative influence and walk away from something bad for you. 

This is nothing fast, you will not get done in a year or two. It is a lifelong pursuit if you can avoid the roadblocks out there. Relax a bit and accept that over the years ahead, you are going to change in your views, how you understand things, what you realize is truth. I do not see this as a passage I went through where I proved things false and moved onward, but an evolution of ideas and learning and thoughts as I kept working and studying more. Yes, there are mountains of things I have determined are complete trash, empty and wrong. There are slightly smaller heaps of stuff which is cute but useless really for anything serious. The rest are things which are true, but not all of it is for me, so got left behind more so and I focused on what was for me and worked well with my personality and who I am. None of that was wasted time, it is all learning, all part of my personal journey.

I enjoyed a poem I read today but do not have permission yet to use it so I won't here, but it was about us being unlimited beings incarnated into constraints of a body and childish mind needing to learn again and make decisions and choices and grow up under all these limitations. This captures well how I see life, and my purpose in life is to stretch and break as many of those constraints and limits as I can. I do this through my deep passion to chase Spirit, and that takes me often into the occult. Mysticism is my joy. Your joy may prove to be something else, but the road is similar, the beginnings are, and the basic rules and wise choices are the same. 

Finally, always educate yourself more in every way you can. Read science, read history, read other opinions, weigh everything, accept what is true for you. Be humble and beware of thinking you know it all. You never will. But, you can learn a great deal if you walk with care and deliberate intention to excel and find where you are supposed to be.

I wish you well.

I write to serve.

Not A Rockstar

Unification Of Being: A Theory

It has been a long and interesting journey, this life, so far. Fifty nine years to date. My obsession has been to find out the Truth, to chase spiritual matters down, get to the bottom of it all, get hold of that truth and nothing less. Everything else I have done has been secondary to that one driving passion. On the surface of it, one could say it is the most selfless pursuit of all, to seek out God and abandon Self, right?

Perhaps not. It turns out that maybe way back when I believed in the concept of yod - a drop of God itself being within each one of us, was true and a larger reality than I supposed in potential. That belief I have retained, but, maybe it means more than I took it for. My Kabbalah stage was not real long but it had deep effects.

My latest studies are focused on the channels of Kryon by Lee Carrol. Whatever else I am doing or writing about, I am always looking for new material worth considering. Until I ran into Kryon, I brushed off the entirety of channels. They struck me as being (very profitable) feel good ice cream and cookies with a few nuts and sprinkles tossed into the mix. Sort of the New Age answer to mega-pastors, less the hell and Bible thumping. Kryon, however, attracts me, through Lee Carrol. I can feel him, my spirit responds to him, a great deal of what he says I find valid. So, I listen to his recorded messages most nights before I head for bed. One or two most nights, and I always feel lighter and happier and with something new to ponder about.

Contrary to what some claim, you actually can be deeply spiritual, passionately in love with your Creator, and rational. Just because I very much enjoy Kryon does not mean I take ever word out of his mouth as factual truth. It is like reading the Bible, not all of it literal, in context it doesn't mean much to us today beyond a look at what mattered to those back when it was written about, but, there are parts, especially in the New Testament, which very much apply to us today. Much of what Kryon teaches cannot be validated yet. He talks about an invention yet to come through Physics advances which will open the way for us to actually communicate with other races of intelligent life off world, for one thing. I am keen to see if it happens, now. He makes some claims about our DNA and discoveries being made or about to be made which will be fascinating to hear about and what it really means to us. We shall see. 

What I can work with and work on verifying for myself are some of the things he says about our souls, our higher self, what God is, who our guides are, how to improve ourselves and keep growing as spiritual beings interested in Truth and our reality as we know it. 

Long story short (he has hundreds of channels out there available for free on youtube to listen to and more written out to be read online), if one takes all the separate things he says about it and pulls it all together, it presents a model which indicates that our higher self is a part of God itself, both independent and also part of the whole totally at once. It is capable of not only placing the part of itself here as the person I am, but also placing within my sphere a few of the "myself" I have been in past lives as my own guides. If you take this thought out as far as it runs, you could come to the conclusion that he actually is saying that every guide and spirit we run into within us may well be ourselves. 

It is our fault and strength to personify everything as being "Other" if we run into an intelligent something. We do this with God even and Kryon maintains this is wrong, "God" is ourselves as much as God is God itself. It is our nature to mistrust "Other" and often to ascribe our own qualities to "Other" when sometimes "Other" is way beyond that and both vastly more, immeasurably outside our mortal concept, and also infinitely smaller and more personal than that at the same time. In the end, what he says means we are God, and a great deal more than we ever thought we were and his mission is to help us start waking up to this and taking more responsibility for what is going on here.

There is a lot more to it, and if you heard him you would either hear what I hear and think about it all or walk off sneering the first time he mentioned Lemuria as a name for the first civilization here that listeners accept as meaning that. I could not readily consolidate hundreds of his channels into a brief blog post and that is not my intent anyway. I am only addressing the concept of us being actually just one, unified being, each of us, one unity. I have often said it is all inside, I have known this, but, I have never taken the thought past the point I have run into "Other", and now, I am having to deal with that and determine what I think is true. 

No "other" guides, all of them are me. Me, with different life experiences and knowledge, working on teaching this bit of Me that I am and helping me wake up and develop in this life experience. 

If true, this has ramifications that Transform everything. 

If it is not true, then it surely poses one of the most sweeping and profound challenges to process and determine that and what I do believe that I have faced in many years.

So, either way it proves out, Kryon is a win-win phase for me to go through.

Not A Rockstar

Were it not for your ancestors, you would not be here, today. Have you ever sat back and thought about their lives? What was it like in the 1920s? Did any of them have a great love for art like you do? Was one of them better at math than you? Have you ever sat there and wondered what Grandma would suggest, were she still around, as she always seemed to be able to understand you better than anyone else?

If you have, and also would not mind a dab of neutral spirituality in your life, honoring your Ancestors is easily added to your life and will also add to yours. This aspect has been lost utterly in most Western mindsets and I find it sad. When I was a child in Japan, I often stayed with Japanese friends and I remember they all had a small shrine, basically a painted door of a small cabinet. That was where their ancestors resided if they were around, it was explained to me. I don't know, but I was told there were some items in the cabinet from their kin passed over. One friend told me his Mom sometimes burned a small candle by it on her Father's birthday. I wish now I had asked more about this, but, it was so natural there it was just something pretty in the corner of the room we played in. A cabinet for their spirit to rest in if they came, a place to sit in your home and remember someone passed onward.

Japan was this way. In their villages you could find small cemeteries fit in like a jigsaw puzzle piece into the village unexpectedly between houses with paper doors. I always loved finding one of those and sneaking in to look at the stone houses in those, barely a walkway between stone mausoleums, each one unique somehow, flowers, a wooden marker with Japanese writing on it, which I could not read so it added to the questions in my mind as I would explore. I was never one of those destructive kids, I just wanted to look and see and think and try to understand. I remember the first one of these small city cemeteries I ever found, I opened the narrow wrought iron doorway into it and it really was tight in there. Just a bare walkway wide enough for an adult to get through. It was shady with stone mausoleum walls higher than I was and as soon as you entered suddenly the village vanished, no sound, just the quiet and a bird chirping or a breeze rustling in the trees overhead shading it all. This one was simpler, with one path through it, which wound back in a vague square and came back out at the entry again. I took my time, and had gotten all the way to the back of it, when I sensed someone right behind me.

I looked back and was fascinated to find a Japanese gentleman clothed in traditional, formal clothing, he didn't look like they did nowadays, his hair was sort of up, not short. He was watching me in mild curiosity, and I smiled at him, thinking maybe he was come to visit one of his dead here and I really should not be there if he wanted to be alone, though I had not heard the gate open to let him in. I did a sorry bow and moved on further through the walkway to get back to the entry and left. It was not until many years later that I realized I had possibly seen a ghost and not even realized it. His clothing style and hair was of a professional gentleman a century before. But, I do not know. He had not spoken and he was not scary at all. I took him for a living man and perhaps he was. Perhaps he wasn't. I still see dead people and they remain in full color most of the time, but, I was late in realizing they were dead. I kind of like to think he was a ghost and perhaps enjoyed a visit by a strange looking child who certainly was not Japanese but was not damaging anything and simply wondered about these people buried here and what they were like. 

Honoring your ancestors can be as simple as gathering their pictures or memorabilia together over one shelf or cabinet and occasionally lighting a small votive candle when you think of them and perhaps sitting there for a few minutes remembering them. Others are more elaborate and also set out a cup of coffee or known favorite drink or treat for a day, such as a birthday or anniversary or holiday. My Mother is Catholic and likes to say a rosary near her shelf of pictures she has of everyone. For many this is simply a way to respect and remember those who are gone, now.

For others, it becomes more than this. Over time and dedication those gone before can become more alive and interactive to the person. I know many who pray to them, as in communicate, not so much as in toward a god, or they will simply talk. About problems or issues or decisions to be made and asking for some insight or advice if they have any to offer. Those who really work this aspect hard tell me it makes a difference, it opens more doors, they have dreams which help them see better ways to solve a problem. Some honestly feel they became closer to a grand parent they never knew well in life, as if he was around a lot and they got a better sense of his or her love. 

I was exposed to this very young, in Japan. Never any sense to need to fear dead people, they were natural, as normal as I am running around my days. It did not solidify, though, until I entered Vodou, where this is considered to be the very first and most critical thing you do, begin your ancestor honoring and setting up a space for them and learning how to work with them. It can become very involved for the average Westerner as you learn ways the Africans show veneration and other cultures also. Vodou has very specific things it teaches to be done, and how. I added in what I liked about things I learned, and skipped things I doubted very much my own People would see the same way and like. A Western altar or space turns out different from the typical one done by African or multi-generational Vodou families, and it responds differently at first, but in the end, they do all wake up and respond if you work at it. This is considered safe and the first step towards any spiritual effort, to begin honoring your own before you go seeking out strangers. They become a layer of protection and love for you.

Not A Rockstar

Wurm: Bad Name, Great Game

Used to be, when I was not working or writing, I was playing computer games. Over time, i got bored, though, with the canned buildings in the pre-set places or getting killed by some kid with his Dad's credit card backing him to buy things at the game shop.

Eventually, I discovered Wurm Online, only because a friend mentioned it. Had I ever seen it advertised, I would not have bothered. The name just sounds so uninteresting. Wurm. Meaningless in English, tells me nothing at all. I went to Wurm Online (that Online part is important as there is another version I am getting to) to see what he was going on about an open world to explore and monsters to slay and other players could not kill you unless you were on certain servers or places. I will say that it is a great experience, but the negative reviews it gets are because of poor Player v player mechanics, and as I hate that anyway, I don't care about it.

I fell in love with the world itself. The flora and fauna, the monsters, the terrain. You can build anything you want to build, if you work into the skill and collect the resources to do it. Build it anywhere you wish, level your land, build a port, make a boat, make a great ship even. You can even breed hell horses there. 

What I did not like about Wurm Online was the price for simply playing past level 20 in all skills. Level 20 is so low you cannot even drive a cart or ride a horse with this, so in effect, you are road kill for anything roaming onto your space. You cannot even buy land for a deed without the paid version, which was in Euros and at that time was about 13 bucks US a month. Nothing else, all that fee did is unlock your toon so you could level more. If you wished to buy game money to buy a deed, it was more.

On one hand, it is a stable game and small population and this fee keeps it going. I don't argue that. But, it is not competitive as prices go and they do NO advertising to speak of. 

What saved the game for me was the decision to make a for sale version. Buy the game, you can make your own server or go play on someone else's server. I caught it on sale when it was released and it cost me about one month of playing price for the Online version. This version is called Wurm Unlimited. Off sale it is 30 bucks US.

It really is all of that, with mods available and many fans have made unique maps and rules for their servers and there is somewhere perfect for anyone. Most charge nothing but donations to keep the game server cost paid down. You can do anything you wish, same as the original version and if you wish to be alone totally can even make a server on your own computer to do that using a canned map it comes with.

Here is a link for it, if this allows links. If not, go to steam and search for Wurm. It has a nice video of a world and what you can do in a vaguely medieval timeframe of fantasy reality. Should you choose to buy it and want to come on out, message me and I will let you know where I am playing at. Presently, I am an assistant GM on one of them and would be happy to show you around or give you pointers if you want to check it out. https://store.steampowered.com/app/366220/Wurm_Unlimited/ 

Not A Rockstar

Shamanism 102: The Drug Myth

It never fails. When a new person to me writes to ask about Shamanism, or used to post back when I had a large forum for occultic topics, one of the very first things they wanted to know was what hallucinogens to take to be a shaman. 

I hate to break it to you if you also thought this was step 1, but drugs of any kind have no real need in shamanism. In some of the lines and traditions it plays no part at all. In the one I originated in it plays no part and intoxication for any reason was frowned upon, actually. You see, the mind and one's grasp on reality is a precious thing. Reality is very good thing to always know. When I was an acolyte in that Order, I spent my days studying and working as a scribe, learning to write and do it well. If there was no work for us to do for pay, then I would be copying texts I needed to memorize anyway and know well. In the evenings, we would gather with the Elders and learn about natural pathogens and remedies, or sometimes be taught some more aspects about the Order, discipline, the Histories, nature. Some nights, we would be taught mental exercises and meditations to begin the training of our mind to be able to find the doorway into the sub-conscious self and then how to pass through and travel over there in that sometimes strange land. This is what is called Journeying in Shamanism, though you will find different descriptions of where it is a shaman goes off to. It is a matter of training, education, and the Elders would have been horrified at the notion of using any substance to bring on an altered consciousness. To our way of seeing it all, to do something like that is to invite damage, breakage, in the preciousness of the mind of the shaman, and once broken the potential is lessened, if not lost entirely. You learn it, do not let it be done to you by some chemical reaction in your mind. 

As I touched on in the earlier post about this topic, there are great similitudes among all shaman and their practices. However, there are also differences in some things. It may have been a natural step into animism and then shamanism for the human race, but it still arose in very diverse cultures and sometimes different times. There will be differences. I can appreciate deeply going to a Native American Pow-Wow and watching the dancers. I once saw an Eagle Dance and had a powerful experience, saw the Eagle and heard it and flew with it even and spoke with it briefly, in the sense that it seemed his mind and mine were linked briefly and I got impressions of his joy and power and exhilaration as he flew. 

But, this does not make me the same as a Native American practitioner. That dance and The Eagle they called, what it means to them is not mine. I cannot tell you firsthand the lore of it in their tradition. We did not dance in our own tradition. This is a difference, despite the energy linking easily and the Eagle deciding to mess with my mind I think, just because it could and I was open to it. It was simply astral play for us. In his own wild way he was saying hello to me. I am not sure anyone else saw him, the dancers did not seem to. I sometimes feel at these Pow-Wows done for outsiders, their hearts are not in it as much as if they were back home and with only kin. Even so, they brought in a monster Spirit Eagle and it was amazing to be gifted this glimpse into one special and sacred part of their faith structure. I feel honored.

I cannot tell you where my Order originated exactly as yet, in ways that would make it knowable today. I know it was in roughly the Northeastern area of the African continent. It was, I suspect pre-Egypt or early, very early into the Egyptian formation. I think it was where we would see as being southern Egypt or northern Sudan today. It was a seemingly humble stone building not far from an oasis we controlled, on a major trade route. Our primary profit came from selling medical help, treatments, and scribe work. The religious aspects were simplistic and not our primary focus. Our purpose was the pursuit of knowledge and researching and gathering medicinal lore. I say seemingly humble because we did live simply and the ground floor was open to the public and simple. It was not a temple as such though there was a small shrine by the entrance to the compound for travelers to make devotions for safety on their routes. We sold small lamps to burn for that purpose and simple offering items. We sold food and shelter if needed. The water was free to anyone. 

The wealth was under the compound and kept rigidly secret, both that it existed and how to access it. Our texts were down there, and I remember hundreds of scrolls and sheafs like early books. I spent years down there copying and transcribing and preserving those things. There were other locations of our group and we got references in from all over the world it seemed to us. The obsession was knowledge, not religion, and developing our minds and learning and mastering the arts of the mind, to include journeys into the Shadow Realm - within each of us, where we all are One with Creator and All. Going into that realm and learning our way about is how we could learn more, gain understanding of everything and ourselves as well.

It took years and years to get good at it and we varied in how good each of us achieved. Most moved on at adulthood and worked as scribes and record keepers, we produced some of the best in those days. A few stayed on and eventually committed to the Order and stayed and these were what today would be called the shamans of the group. If you were not good at the Shadow Realm, you did not stay on.

Those were unsettled times, though. That location was attacked at some point by other people coming in to take control, and I remember getting down through the access to make sure the door was sealed securely to keep the scrolls safe. I died down there of my wounds. From what I can see today it never was found and is basically a loss now anyway. It was green then, scrubby growth away from the oasis and now when I go there on a journey it is all blowing sand. Not even the well or trees remain. I was maybe in my thirties when I died, perhaps early forties. I believe everyone died there in that attack. I have no information if the other locations went on or what they became.

I say all this to illustrate the value in allowing your own past to come forward if it will, and honor your own roots. I doubted for a long time, struggled with Christian ideas beaten into me in this life against reincarnation or how I could know these things. The fact is, I know this, I can sit down, relax and shift into the Shadows easily. It was a case of remembering what I had been taught, not learning again, once I got over the doubt.

Not A Rockstar

A Lonely Shaman: intro, shamanism 101

It wasn't until I was in my 30's that I knew what I was most like was a shaman. I was born a child of the wind and rain who danced with dragon flies in the sunshine and fireflies at night and never did fit in with my family, though, now, after almost 6 decades, I think they are alright with it. Nature, weather, animals all resonated with me far better than people. People could hurt you. Nature simply was what it is, no malice. Or so it seemed.

It worked out the way it needed to for me. I never had any idea about shamanism, beyond the word. My pursuits were into Christian origins and history and Egyptian thought to nearly the exclusion of all else. I took breaks along the years to look into palmistry and numerology and astrology and other things, but those were for some diversion. I think it was in the early 90's when I ran across some of RJ Stewart's work and found a small private forum he ran and heard about the Fae - the faery realms and energies and used my "walking" skills to explore some of the astral places he spoke of and set off a rather extreme period of learning about a great deal I never had been awake to before then. That whole body of lore deserves its own book, and RJ has already written some good stuff, so I will leave this there for now. Long story short, through it I was exposed to the ideas of present day shamanism, which is usually problematic. People today who just decide they want to be a shaman basically have to go out and steal from other traditional ways to cobble together their own paradigms and "ancient truth" to stand on and this causes a great deal of resentment and deception and actual damage to some gullible people in the public. Appropriation is rampant among "shamans" today, and I never understood why. It was a friend who I met through RJ Stewart's list who introduced me to Michael Harner and his "Way of The Shaman" for better or worse. In reading it and seeing plainly the things it was wrong about for me revealed to me that I actually knew this subject very well, very deeply, and that sent me off to find out my own answers as to why and from where and how. 

If you are really called to become a shamanistic practitioner, it is already in your bones, your heart, your veins. So is your training and your own ancestral song to be singing out here in the world. It is inside of you. This is what makes a shaman, not books or classes or mimicking what Native Americans or other indigenous religions do today. You need to remember and bring forward your own line into today and live that. We all have one at least. This was basically the earliest religious forms the race ever came up with no matter where it rose up and got going well at. You may not know for a long while where your own form originated from and it will take some forms very similar to other traditions, but, you have no need to be taking anything nor short-changing your own roots. They may not be from your literal genetics in this life either. You may have been born with the links and bonds from a past life coming forward again to bring some quality you had then into today. It is more a matter of waking up than it is to be learning something new and foreign to you. 

Is there a need for a shaman today? I would say yes, very much so. Perhaps more than ever, we need people who feel the earth and Nature integrally to themselves in today's world to be among those who stand up for her, and for a cleaner world and seeking to save threatened species. There is very much a need for us and for people who may not be fully awake to this inside of them, but who do respond to the cry for help from the natural world. At its most basic level, this focus and linkage of empathy to the world and nature is an easy third of the inner world of a shaman.

The next third is the health and well being of his/her tribal unit. A shaman served the people who supported that shaman. Historian, preserver of knowledge, herbalist, healer, priestly duties, this was what a shaman did for the tribe. The "journeying" through the use of drugs was supposedly for answers for troubles the tribe was facing. Most forms of shamanism do journey, but not all of them use hallucinogenic substances. Journeying has some hazards to it, it was not recreational with the shaman who went to do it. This is a very telling point to me about what a modern shaman is to be doing. You support your tribe. In my case, this is that circle of friends, co workers, and family who form their orbit around me. It is those who come into contact with me. This is my tribe, a bit more transitory and diverse than back in the ancient times, but, what I do and become is for that, not for me so much. That most, by far, have no idea they are interacting with a shaman is perfectly fine. What is critical is that I remember and serve honorably. This is not a religion as such. I do not need followers. What they believe is not relevant. 

The final third of what I see as the three pillars which support what a shaman is and does and serves is the arena of the dead and dying. It is considered a traditional role of a shaman to perform as a psychopomp. It is a strange word, which means to conduct the spirits of the dead to the afterlife. The word itself is Greek, I believe, but the idea of serving as a mediator between the living and dead tribal members has been there since the very earliest forms of animism and shamanism. I think it is safe to say that all forms did serve as a mediator, but not all served as a literal guide or escort for the deceased. I can read descriptions of doing this in some traditional forms, but, there are none in my own as such. On the other hand i find it simplistic to shift between the two realms and both seem normal to me. I also am ambivalent about "sending souls to the light". You won't find me with the group of New Agers wringing their hands over an alleged ghost and trying to urge it to move to the light and leave. That strikes me as stupid, to be honest. If it is not causing a problem I don't care where it goes, sort of like the same as when it was alive. Spirits see the light and the dark and go where they want. Leave them alone. That is how I see it. 

Another meaning for psychopomp is one who intermediates between the conscious and unconscious realms, and this is very applicable to the second pillar I wrote about above. I do this more than anything else, for myself and for others.

So, there are my ideas for the three main things a shaman does in assorted ways: he/she serves the world and natural order, he/she serves his own people, and he/she serves the dead and dying.

In my opinion, we do reincarnate, and shamanistic belief structures were fundamental to most cultures in the beginning, so it does not surprise me a bit to see a lot of it in manifestation even nowadays, though most would credit other things for it. I see it in hospice caregivers, that passion and strength to be with the dying through to their passing. I see it in many in the medical profession. I see it in some public servants, such as police and EMS. I see it in some teachers and historians. It is like an extra share of talent or depth in their chosen way of serving their tribe today. They may not be religious, shamanism really isn't religious anyway, but, they have an affinity with nature, an understanding of the pain in others, and a depth of compassion which can astonish you. It is just there, even if they would laugh to be told they may well have been a shaman many lives ago or had been affected deeply way back by their tribal faith in a good shamanistic leader or helper. 

This is apart from modern notions about "empathy" and being an "empath". That is another topic for maybe someday to write about.

If I wrote further about some of the passages all shamans go through on their way to waking up and becoming what they can be, it would startle a few to recognize seemingly random things which affect them deeply in their secret lives and realize what it really was and means. For most, though, it would seem like empty babble or applying meaning to random nightmares or experiences. This is the difference, A shaman perceives the reality under the apparent and the unconscious fabric of life. Others will not see it in the same way or depth at all.

I write to serve.

Not A Rockstar

Crazy Dreams: Psychic Life

When one speaks of the usual senses, such as sight or hearing, everyone knows what it is like, and how it should be. If I say I heard a train today, everyone knows roughly what I heard. If ask you to repeat what you just said to me, despite you speaking in a normal voice, you would guess right off I might be hearing impaired. This sort of thing is easy as we all share the sense, and we all usually develop along the same lines, into the same normal range. It is the same with vision. We even have specialists who can adjust our vision with glasses to be the same as everyone else.

But, when it comes to anything beyond that, outside the range of normal for the majority to experience and relate to, problems can arise. We can question ourselves, our friends and family may question us, and most certainly the world is full of people who seem obsessed with denying and questioning anything anyone tries to say or ask about outside the range deemed normal. Most of us tend to fall in line and decide it was simply imagination or misunderstood and never have to deal with it again.

For some, however, an experience comes along which will not fit in the normal range and cannot be blamed on imagination. For example having a crazy nightmare of your friend being a car wreck and getting out scared but with a cut on her arm. You wake up thinking it was a crazy dream, confused what in the world could have inspired a mad dream like that and go back to sleep. You find out the next day at school that your friend was, in fact, in a car wreck the evening before and got a cut on her arm and will be alright but out of school for a day or two.

This sort of experience defies being rationalized away and happens to thousands of people. Something you could not possibly have known, coming to you in a way that is confusing but succeeded in getting the information to you. A dream for one person, a sort of waking vision for another, a bad feeling lingering for no reason and the friend constantly coming to mind. Followed by independent confirmation, this is impossible for someone to ignore or accept it is not a valid and true experience they went through. 

What typically comes next is a need to understand for most rational people who experience something like this. There are few sources for good information. If you are lucky, you know of a person who does this more often who will recognize what you are talking about and can explain. Maybe you will run into someone online on a forum who has some good information for you. More likely, though, you may run into those who are compelled to respond with rationalistic answers. It is delusion, you are lying, or some feat of explanation which far surpasses simply accepting that something really unusual sounding happened to you.

For someone who has not experienced this sort of thing, they expect it to be like any other sense, or else it is wrong. You always can hear, so if it is a "real" sense it has to always be on also. When you see a color chart, if you have normal vision, you can identify accurately every color there, so if this is a real sense, you have to be right 100% of the time. If one "psychic" can see what is hidden inside a locked box, then if you are psychic you can do the same thing the same way. This can be really upsetting and further confuse you.

Here is some survival guidance for you. 

If you are really upset and alarmed, your sleep is disturbed or you are hearing or seeing things urging you to harm yourself or someone else, if it a negative thing, is disrupting your life or affecting your health and well being, do seek medical help, or a mental health counselor to rule out anxiety or depression or some other cause. We all can fall victim to stress or prolonged tension from deaths close to us, family set backs, or other trauma and need some expert advice on how to cope better with harsh periods in our lives. It does not make you crazy or wrong to need some specialized advice. Once you are through this you will be better able to help someone else going through it and recognize it early for them and be able to encourage them to find their answers too. If your "psychic" claim is pretty wild, don't be angry or hurt if people suggest you need to check out yourself and your mental health and be sure you are alright. They might very well be right. You will get nowhere in life if you do not learn the ability to consider yourself honestly and determine if they might be correct. Stress can do crazy things to us. 

Be wise and consider the platform you are asking on. If it is the internet, and a forum of the caliber that the one this blog is hosted on is, featuring a broad array of experience and its share of sceptics, expect a broad array of replies. Also be aware it gets claims from the full spectrum of people daily, ranging from liars faking it and bored kids, to seriously unstable people who actually need mental intervention and all those in between. Be clear what you are asking, do not exaggerate, keep in mind they do not know you and also keep in mind you do not know who you are replying to. Respect goes a long way.

If you are actually fine with what happened and simply wishing to know why or what happened, then accept such responses as people being concerned who may not understand or else don't have enough information from you to correctly assess what you are trying to describe. Focus on those replies which seem to address what you are needing and ask questions and don't get down on yourself. If you just react and get rude or angry you will lose a lot of ground and credibility for what you are saying happened to you.

I can tell you that sometimes this sort of thing will happen once or twice over years and nobody will be able to tell you why it did that. You may never have answers as to why you saw this person, or were shown that. Things just lined up that way, maybe to show you it is possible and get you looking out there with new eyes to learn more about it. Unlike the normal senses, a so-called "psychic" sense can be different for everyone who has an experience with it. It can reveal one detail and skip the next dozen. It can make little sense. I think this is because we are not that great at receiving it right, and it takes a while to get better at it. I am not sure if this a new skill range trying to manifest among us more, or an old one some of us connect with and have to learn over again. My personal opinion is we can all potentially experience it at times, some more than others, and some of us are simply shut down in this area and never will readily understand it or even believe in some cases. 

It is like a dream, not easy to control, sometimes seemingly random, often ambiguous or with inexplicable details that do not seem to fit, and other major details apparently left out illogically. You can do better, with work, understand more, if it stays around. In any case, it does make you realize we know less than we think about the ranges we are capable of, once you have seen something like this yourself which has no outside explanation, and maybe that is what makes it the most interesting when it does happen.

I write to serve.

Not A Rockstar

Vodou 102:Personal Aspects

I talked how the parties can be which are open for the public to come, but, what is it like as a person practicing the religion?

For one thing, a lot simpler. Big services are run by the asogwe and can be hectic at times or confusing. They generally are explosions of energy and joy.

For a practitioner, your personal service and experience of it is sized to what you know. I have said before that one takes the rank before being taught what is contained within that rank of information and responsibility. If you have casual interest, you have none of that. If you decide to unofficially join a House, you still won't have much, though you will probably learn your met tet (main spirit) and how to show him or her respect and more about them, perhaps another few of your escort over time if they let you know they are around.

In Vodou I was taught that every child born comes with at least seven lwa with them as escorts. For 99% of all people interested in Vodou, this is as far as they ever need to go and can be a lot of fun, given a good Elder to turn to with questions. No commitment, general guidance, learn what you discover and go with it where you want. The downside is that there is also no commitment to you from the House, or an Elder. No obligation. Most will help anyway, but you are not one of their kids, basically. Just sort of a friendly.

If you decide formally joining the faith and the House is what you want to do, the first rank is Hounsi. I went through a three day and night sequestered ceremony with three others and it was, at that time, a shock and something of an ordeal for me. I had never experienced anything like that. Hounsi can be made and initiated in the USA or wherever they are given an asogwe who knows how to run such an event.

It is said that a Hounsi is responsible for learning how to serve his own escort and obey the Elders of the House in helping run things and learn the arts involved in making a House run right, though he or she is not likely to be working in ritual matters or doing any work. Elders of the House see their job towards the Hounsi as teaching basics, explaining odd things which happen as the student works more with spirit, and handling any "work" the Hounsi needs done. Hounsi are not expected to do "work" themselves unless specifically told what or how to do something, such as making a bath or doing a special thing for his spirits he has not been shown yet. 

So, the goal here is to end with a Sevitor who understands the faith and how to live with and flow with his or her own spirits and to honor God.

Si Pwen, or "On the Point" is the first rank of priesthood. Most people out there never need this step. Just as you can be a Catholic without becoming a Priest, you have no need to become a priest in Vodou. It is not like Wicca where the goal is to train students up through the ranks to become priests themselves. Si Pwen is priesthood done on the authority and "point" of your personal met tet, or primary spirit. It is the junior of the two ranks of priesthood and works under the authority of the asogwe over that person. It is said of that rank that while Hounsi are to serve their own escorts, a si pwen is to learn how to do their own magickal needs and service needs as well. This defines what they are taught.

Asogwe, the top rank of priesthood in Vodou, are taught how to serve the needs of others, using the authority of the full 21 Nations. Asogwe are said to "hold the asson", a sacred rattle used to summon the spirits, to have the right to this and to do it and use it. They are also responsible for protecting the House and its members spiritually. This is a bigger issue than some suppose at times. 

Experientially, for me, my small altar group in my house when I was an hounsi expanded to a large room when I was active as an asogwe and altars honoring all the lwa, so I had the needed resources to do work for clients who might need different lwa for different needs. I ran a small House of my own but kept it small and very low profile as I was a deputy sheriff then. We went to NOLA and the main house for services or events. Nowadays, I have cut back to a small altar again, as I do not do a lot of work anymore and if I do I can easily do it with what I have and don't need to have clients come over. Generally, these are old contacts who want me for certain things. As you see here, I do not identify myself. I do not run a formal House now though it is said every asogwe IS a House. 

What an asogwe does with their asson (authority) varies. I was browsing around and ran across a supposed "priestess" posting to drum up business and it fit the classic Vodou cursing and witchy stuff we are all thought to be doing and selling. Love spells and money work and that sort of thing. No judgment from me. But it is not what I do nor what I did even back then when I was active. All love spell requests I got I forwarded to a sister mambo of mine who was good at that. The main spirits I work with just aren't suited for that nor am I. 

It may sound like a lot, and it is, actually, but, religions are what you want. I wanted the teaching, to know the reality of what it was made of, and my temperament was right for the most formal form of working with the lwa. There is a reason more find New Orleans voodoo much more open and accessible. So do I, now, and I am much more relaxed, but with a basis behind me of the long road, twenty years now of long road. I have plenty of room to relax and not worry about the details nor do I have followers to have to work for and protect.  

This is an alien topic and world for people who are outside the ATR traditions, and I know it. The modern world doesn't even believe in spirits, most do not really even believe in God. This, to me, is God's business, not mine, how others believe. It is a matter of indifference to me, to be honest beyond watching out for the safety of myself and my family from nut cases out there. The main reason I am writing these posts is to inform people and remove some of the weird ideas floating around about the Vodou Community in general. We tend to stay to ourselves, we are not stealing your pets for sacrifices, we aren't the ones leaving goat heads in crossroads or other things I read about. Lwa are not demonic and neither are we. It is a Monotheistic religion which believes in God, and hence not an easy fit with Paganism, though not accepted by Christianity either. We are fine with that, yet, like most indigenous religions only they seem to be spreading a reputation around about us. I am just seeking to counter that with a few facts.

I write to serve.

Not A Rockstar

Vodou 101:Basic Format

Intro:

This series is intended as a basic introduction to what Haitian Vodou, the religion, is. This is not facts about the forms yet in Africa. It is not about Jamaican Obeah, Brazilian Kimbanda, Palo, or any of the other, many religions related in as being rooted in ATR (African Traditional/Tribal Religions). Haitian Vodou is not Dominican Vodou. Isolated, each land's slaves formed up with what they had, so there can be more significant differences in Reglemen (Regulation) between major forms like that.  Anything I write here is open information if you had a source for it, and is able to be found in some of the plethora of books out there written about it. One thing to keep in mind is that this religion has gone through several major shifts and disruptions and there remain practitioners of each pre-disruption form and so there are differences already, some which bear the same names. Also know that there is no "Pope" for the religion out there. Each asogwe ranked priest/ess who runs a House of his/her own is the authority over that House and what lineage is taught. Each lineage can have had different histories and experiences with some of the spirits they carry. So, differences are there. By itself, this does not make one wrong and the other one right. Each house can be of a different lineage, hence teaches some differences they have learned. These are mostly minor.

What is remarkable is that for all of this non-standardization how much is the same, the spirits manifest much alike, there is a great deal of similitude throughout and the inner code of how to serve the spirits is essentially the same and how we do business is referred to as the Reglemen in Haitian Vodou. The "regulation", the code we work by, and this is, primarily, taught verbally from the oral tradition and not written down. The details are infinite and can diverge, but the core of it is awfully standardized by the spirits themselves. Another asogwe may read something I write here and disagree with a detail, as we are of different lineages, but you will not see something major arise. As I will not be talking about specifics, those should not even be points brought up here, anyway. I write to inform, not to convert or recruit, though spirit does what it will given a voice. 

The Basic Format

A Vodou service, if you were ever invited to one, is broken up into three parts. That seems the best way for me to introduce the main sections of the spirits which comprise the religion. The first portion is focused on the Rada spirits. Rada are generally all from African origins, were brought over with the slaves brought in chains from Africa to the New World. These began as ancestors who were venerated by their descendants for generations. They are, then, familial spirits, and considered to be elevated from their earthly origins as Dead (Morts) from such long service and seen as very wise and friendly spirits who are very well known and for a very long time. There are a few exceptions, such as Damballah, seen as the Snake God by the simplistic who do not know the creation imagery behind his personification as a great boa constrictor type of spirit. In short, the imagery is of the planet being an egg, with a great cosmic snake being encircled around it protectively, guarding his own egg. There is no concept in Vodou of snakes being a symbol of evil. We have no garden of Eden in our backstory, no lying snake, none of that.

Damballah is seen as the purest, highest spirit in the Pantheon. He is honored first. We see him as like a Christ figure perhaps, in that he is the highest we have seen under God, the Creator. There is one God in Vodou, it is a mono-theism. The Lwa are servants of that and divinities to us but not god. God created the egg, Damballah came down and encircled the egg and protects it. We live on the egg. 

So Rada starts the service off, Damballah is honored, Saint Mary is honored and then a long list of Saints, seemingly, though for us these saints are syncretized with specific lwa. The songs are in Kreyol, and honoring consists of three songs at least for each Nation of spirits, sometimes with additions for spirits within a Nation who are well known by that lineage. Vodou considers there to be 21 Nations of lwa.

Rada, from Africa, are considered to be cool spirits, versus hot. Cool and hot refer to the temperament and manifestation of the spirit as it is. Cool lwa tend to be calm, sweeter, stable, and familial in how they come across and present if one happens to opt to come in possession during being honored in the service. If possession is going to occur it happens during or very close to the songs dedicated to its Nation. In our family we nearly always had Damballah come, nearly always one of the Ogou would come in for us, often others also would. If one comes the service stops and that lwa is served and does what he or she plans to do until they leave. Then the service picks back up again. Needless to say our services last many hours. Some have gone on for days. It depends on the spirits and how willing they are to come in and how long they stay. Cool is a relative term if you are new to the lwa in person and one takes interest in you. Ogou is a warrior, he is very African in some moods and can seem scary if he grabs his sword and comes after you to swat you with it. The swats are blessings or sometimes strength he is imparting to one of his favorites, or can be venting displeasure in one of his initiated children. No need to be frightened of him, he is our warrior, he won't harm you, but to an outsider it can seem violent and anything but "cool", especially if he sees someone in the audience who he recognizes and tries to deal with them and tell them they should not be out there with strangers as if they were not family. This can alarm people, especially if you had no idea you were anything but curious and simply coming to watch those odd Vodou people dance and do weird things. 

Services are long, by the time the Rada portion is done the Initiates are tired. There is often a break here and a meal is sometimes served out. The Ghede (forgotten Dead, who live under the rule of the Barons - the Lords of Death, in their own Nation) come in just before this break, and I often think of them as a sort of welcome comic relief after so much seriousness and a couple hours of songs and rituals. Often we change clothes here, for the second portion, the Petwo, the "hot" lwa, ahead. 

If you are just watching for the first time, you will notice right away the energy is different the second half if we have drummers in. Petwo are hotter, newer more violent in expression (not to people) and wilder. So are the drums and the songs. Some of them you will be confused, as they may have been honored or even shown up in the Rada portion already. This category of lwa are more unique to the New World, some were born during slavery, and began more tortured in life and expression. Some were actually Arawak and Taino spirits taken up and cared for when the native population left finally died out. For a period in Haitian history escaped slaves often found sanctuary with remnants of Taino in the deep mountains and shared religious traditions with them and absorbed the Taino spirits. It is an assumption of Vodou that one does not leave a known spirit to be abandoned and forgotten, so they took these spirits in as their own, not due to appropriation but because from Africa this was the Code. If a tribe was conquered by another tribe, their spirits were taken up by the victors and brought along and honored, because you do not disrespect the Ancestors, even enemy Ancestors. As illness and slavery and violence wiped out the last Taino, it was a point of honor to the slaves to be sure all their spirits known about were kept as close to how they knew the Taino did it and were not abandoned or forgotten. This new post slavery period is where the Petwo lwa generally all come from and is one of the main things which sets Haitian Vodou apart from the African original form, and in some ways also removes it from other forms, in a natural uniqueness. I do not say "specialness" as each form has its own qualities and spirits which make them beautiful to their adherents. I have worked in Obeah, Orisha and also Kimbanda and these are utterly different from Vodou beyond the bare basics. They each have their beauty and particular strengths and demands.

The crazier tales about Vodou services out there historically are typically about the Petwo. You may hear or see someone cracking a whip during this portion. It is part of the pain and sounds a spirit born in that time relates to and recognizes. These can come in wild, be hard to mount (be possessed by) and can be very temperamental, even today after a century or two of service to stabilize them and elevate them. Even in the audience you find things physically hot in the room, some have to leave. It is not imagination, they are hotter, they are often angry, they are always intense at the least.

When we finally reach the final Nation being sung for and honored and all the lwa who came are gone, the service is over. You will find the crowd has thinned down hours before, and you may wonder to see some of the Initiates flopped in a chair or sitting back while a final lwa is yet there, visiting and drinking his rum. Unlike other religions, the formality is adherence to the Reglemen and rituals secreted amidst the motion and celebration and generally things a watcher would not realize were pertinent occultic details of service. Me standing there or dancing for (an average of) five hours is not a point any lwa is going to see as required. If I am flopped in the back of the room in a chair among the watchers, nobody cares officially. I may do it to quell some energy or interference we detect back there. I may do it because I want to sit down and chose that spot. Some guests love it if one of us does that so they can ask questions or feel more included. 

Things You Might Want To Know At Your First Service

I get asked some of the same things by guests, so let me answer what comes to mind here for you to close this post out. If you are invited to a service or see a public announcement of an open service and decide to go and see what is happening, feel free to do so. If you are at ease with the neighborhood, have company, and would like to see, you are welcome to this sort of party.

1. Generally it is best to wear a long skirt if you are female, and long pants if you are male. These spirits are Old World in their views. Even so, the worst I have seen is Ogou telling a girl in jeans that she should not dress like a man. Not as if they are going to do something drastic if you somehow gain one of their attention in the guests. This is not the time or place to argue or stand up for women's rights. Just smile and say "Yes, Papa" and let him go on. Some of them lived a thousand years ago. Leave them alone. The big thing is you were picked out and noted by Ogou. Be happy.

2. If you get permission to go out on the ritual area/dance area/dirt floor, take your shoes off and go barefoot. This is disrespectful in the extreme to the lwa of the house to cover your feet on their space like that. Why? Because the lore says they come up through the ground to take possession, and do so by the feet. To cover your feet is to say you do not trust them to know who you are, or to not harm you or come unasked. It is akin to coming invited into my home and carrying a weapon in your hand to make sure none of my family comes near you. If you are that paranoid just stay away or do not ask or agree to go out there. 

3. Let us say on your own, secretly, you asked a lwa for help, such as Ogou, and feel he actually did help you. You want to thank him in person with a cigar for example, so you go to this open service and want to do that. DO NOT JUST GO OUT THERE IF HE COMES IN. We will probably throw you out of the place, or he may get very ugly with the sense that family space is being invaded by Outsider. These are Old World minds in most cases and do not tolerate rudeness. Or, the lwa may just leave at your approach and drop the "mount" in anger. However, you certainly can do this and are WELCOME to ask one of the Initiates to talk with the Elder running the service before it begins and tell this person what you desire to do. Show them your gift. If it is right for that spirit (there are a ton of taboos and a ton of favorite things) he or she will nearly always agree that if that lwa comes in we will fetch you out there to meet him or her, and we are always happy to do this. It is never about wanting outsiders to stay away from our lwa, but to do it right, so the experience is positive for everyone. It is usually Ogou who is wanted to meet, and most of those love those costly cigars, so bring one of those with you and ask beforehand. If they know you want to see them, they love the attention usually. This is the attraction for many in Vodou, that we can actually meet face to face with spirit, touch, even experience, the divinities. 

4. If you hear the drums and were not asked, it is not really correct to just go in. This is not like a church hoping for more to come through the doors. You can try if the door is open to ask someone inside if you can come in. Many houses will welcome you warmly. It depends what the service is for or whom it is for. If they say no, please do not be angry and just ask later for a chance to come. If you are curious and want to see a service, find a servitor and ask about it, find a House and ask. In some places there are several, like New York City or Miami. I am alone and do not host services. If I really needed that I would contact people I know in New York or NOLA, but, honestly I do not need it anymore. I carry it with me and am at peace serving as I do, more of a mystic than a working Houngan. 

5. Are there hotter spirits that the Petwo in Vodou? Yes. Such matters are never open to guests.

6. Do Lwa hate white people? No, though some can be standoffish until they know you are welcome and love black people and are not secretly hateful in your heart. There are French Lwa, actually, and Native American as well. There are some with disabilities. The Spirit is very open and inclusive in itself. On the other hand, I have seen people of all colors come to the Vodou with wrong intentions in their hearts and they pay the price for it. If they are white I have heard it claimed that was why it went bad for them. When you hear such a racist claim do not wonder why it went bad. Elevated spirits are not racists, nor are elevated people.

I write to serve.

 

Not A Rockstar

Imagination: Creator Gene

Recently, I wrote a post about our dog, Chyna, and her loss and a conversation I had with my daughter about Chyna's possible doggie survival and return. It was meant as a remembrance of my dog, a few anecdotes about her and the general idea that the love of a good dog is never really gone. As is often my style, I added a bit of fairy dust.

Surprisingly, I got a flaming post on Facebook from someone about it in my inbox, ranting about lying to my kid and teaching her useless ideas. There was more ridiculous stuff about dogs not having souls and in any case, when we die we die and that is all. I read it and deleted it, but as he is here he can read what I have to say.

My daughter is brilliant, in several grades ahead of herself, academically, but she is still a child emotionally. We have done well with our little prodigy student, thanks. When she studies, she works hard and is serious. When she plays, she gets to play. I taught her several creation stories when we got to that sort of question and explained how they evolved in different cultures. I have also taught her several ideas about death and what happens when we die, and where they come from. She can handle that comparative sort of teaching, and she does well in deciding what she thinks and understanding the clean line between what is deemed to be proven and what is deemed to be a guess, or fantasy, or something we may never know for sure. Her current dream is to be a veterinarian. Animals are everything to her right now and my cabin on some acres is basically her pet farm when she is home from school. 

You do not know my kid. You do not know how madly she is a Daddy's girl and that Chyna was my dog, a dog I loved and she knew it and to her mind, she disobeyed one of the few rules and killed my dog. Worse, it was when I was real sad and gone to take care of her Grandma, and her favorite Grandpa had died and she knew I was sad about that. If you think that I am going to come home and when she finally starts to communicate about this death she feels to blame for that I am going to come down on her and be a good father by telling her the dog is dead, gone, she killed it by disobeying me and that is it, it is done and too bad - you are out of your mind.

I believe we survive death, and she knows this and has her own thoughts and can tell you all about the idea that we go kaput on death versus that we live on and several variants of the same. Her real question was, might a dog have a spirit that lives on and was Beau playing with her, maybe. She is not a spooky kid who thinks ghosts all over the place, as I am not that way. Her mother is definitely not that way. But, spiritual ideas have certainly been part of her life, late baby for us as she is. Spirit is my life, so of course my baby gets answered with the best I know how to. 

I quoted Kryon because he has a model that fits what I think generally though I never have put days on it or a system. I have had the general belief that dogs do go on and sort of rejoin a dog pot of dog energy somewhere and when more dogs are born their life energy is sparked from that. Kryon refers for other things to a "God Soup" of energy, so my notion of a sort of gathering or pot of dog energy could be called a dog soup. They go there and when one needs an ounce of dog for a puppy an ounce is ladled out, as it were. If she plays with the puppies and finds one that seems to remind her the most of Chyna, has some quirk that makes her feel we have a bit of my dog back, it is all good with me. Grief is not forever, nor should a sense of guilt be. She sometimes cuddles on the couch and listens to Kryon with me and we talk about things he says, especially points she finds odd. I don't buy everything he says, though if some new discoveries arise maybe I will in some things, but on the whole he is positive, teaches a healthy view of God and inspires hope for the future, which I feel is sadly lacking in too many people today.

I encourage her imagination, I read all her fantasy stories she writes and never will tolerate her being told that is a waste, she should use all her time for math or a language or something useful. Balance is a good thing. From imagination, wondering, dreaming come some of our best new lines of enquiry and technology. They all began as an idea, a dream, plus education and then the will to follow through. 

That we are created in God's image I do believe, though I doubt we have a clue what God really is or how it is meant "in His image". But, one way I think we are is in our ability to Create, and I also believe that is in our ability to Imagine, dream, and then work from there into reality. In effect, that Imagination, our ability to imagine and dream a tangible thing in the intangible energies of our mind and picture it, is one of our sparks of divinity when it is a good thing. 

Another, larger spark is our capacity to forgive. Of course, I forgave her for Chyna's death. But, she has not forgiven herself, and this is part of her processing so she can accept forgiveness, this hope in these puppies that one of them will be like Chyna and maybe I will love that one too, and it won't be so bad what happened. As she gets older she will understand better and the sadness will fade and she will understand that no it is not ok what happened, but, these things do happen, sad things happen and we have got to get up and go on and she matters more to me than my dog. If she understands more deeply what love is through all this, then it is a good thing. Someday she will have a child that breaks her favorite bowl and as she faces the pieces she will maybe remember and better understand that her Dad loved her a whole lot even back when Chyna died, and reach out for her errant kid with a gentler hand and more compassion.

Here is the bottom line, buddy. IF there really is nothing after we die, IF nothing really matters and we are just accidents, then what do you care if some of us enjoy it and dance some of the way and tell wonderful stories to pass the dark nights? If we are wrong we will never know, and if we are right, then we will grin at your surprise, but in the end, we will get there. We all leave by the same door, whatever the disputes about how we got there in the first place or what is after we meet Death. Personally, I am planning on a party. You are invited.

I write to serve.

Not A Rockstar

Missing "Chyna", Our Dog

We found Chyna as a fist sized puppy awkwardly romping along a highway, inexplicably alone. A common white hound puppy with black spots at random, until she looked up at me and proved to have the clearest, china blue eyes I have ever seen, hence her name. I never had a dog who loved her name as much as she did. Call her and she was coming at a dead run in high joy. High energy, boundless love for her people pack. One of the dogs I have loved most in life, and I have cared for many.

It was hard to lose my Dad this past Winter. I was out of town dealing with that for the family and a short duty turned into a several month long protracted task and while I was gone, my dog, Chyna got let out and never came back. From what my hysterical wife told me, she could hear it out back, Chyna had caught some coyotes on the property and typical blond that she was, attacked alone. My blue eyed girl was gone and buried by the time I got home. I don't talk about it much, as it hurts my wife and daughter, who both feel they killed her for me. I don't let the dogs out at night, unless I let them all out. As a group, they can overcome, especially with me there along with my rifle. But, I was gone for months and it had been ok to break the night rule the other times, until it wasn't. 

But, the truth is, I miss her and sense her around at odd times. I finally have stopped saving her the last bite of my sandwiches as I eat at the computer. I grieve for her and my Dad both these days. In silence, because they already know they made a mistake, and we have other dogs, we care for a lot of abandoned ones up here where it is too rural to have a parish pound. Not as if I lack for eager volunteers to lick my hands and beg for cookies.

But, it was funny this weekend. My daughter was out with Beau, our golden retriever plus dog (mutt which looks 90% like a golden) who had been a special pal with Chyna, they'd play this game down in the orchard as if peeking around the trees at each other, like peek a boo. None of the others did that and found it odd it seemed. She said Beau had run down to the orchard and was playing peek a boo with Chyna, just that Chyna wasn't there, right? Could dogs have ghosts?

I weighed what to say for a minute. I finally decided to say that if Beau was playing with Chyna in his mind, either he could see her and she did play with him still, or was remembering and grieving in his own way for her. This sort of platitude worked for her usually, but this time she flopped in the other chair in my office and thought about it, her face sad and talked about her guilt over letting my dog out that night. I assured her I knew what it was like to make a bad choice and really hurt about the results. Often enough I have done it, and there was nothing I could say. She knew it was wrong, and there were consequences, and we would get through it. 

"But, what happens when dogs die, Dad? Do they come back as new puppies somewhere?"

I will tell you what I told her. The rationalist answer would be no, you let her out and my two year old darling puppy got killed and that is it, the end. But, you know, I do not believe that myself, and though I try to leave religious ideas open for my kid, I guess it is time to be more specific. I told her what some would say - that no, dogs are just gone when they die and so are people and everything else, but, I did not believe that myself. I believe people live on and as for dogs, I have always thought sure I would see the special ones who really loved me again. I guess I harbor a little of the Rainbow Bridge notion under it all for my past dogs and cats. I do not think about it much, to be honest, and with her eyes on me, blinking tears, I realized how lame that sounds. I needed to do better.

I enjoy listening to Kryon channelings, usually play one a night as I get ready to end the day. If you do not know who he is, he is allegedly an entity who is a part of God who is channeled by Lee Carrol. I am not sure of all he has to say but listening to his words cheers me up tremendously and often gives me things to think about. It certainly is no worse than watching TV these days or reading a some of the forum posts online. One of the roughly 30 minute long channels I listened to recently he actually does answer a question about dogs and pets. According to Kryon, if the dog especially wants to come back to you, it will try to incarnate into a litter born within 90 days of its own passing as close to you as possible. If you find your dog, you can look into the puppy's eyes and know you found the same little dog energy. If you recognize it, then you know.

I told her what he said, and that if you do not find it, it is alright as it will go on and love another person the same. If it does not try to come back to you it still is out there, loving someone who needs a buddy like that, as that is what good dogs do.

Some hope is what I expected for her, not the sudden smile across on her face to hear this.

"We have nine puppies now, Dad, all born within 90 days of when she died in January! She is here, then, Dad! We have to sort which one she is!"

She ran out to play with the puppy crew and I sat there, well able to predict that in a few weeks there would be one or two of these puppies we cannot give away. There always is at least one. Kryon is not to blame for that. He has just become her latest excuse. 

I wonder who she will claim is which dog, as we lost Dixie in January also, but my daughter didn't think of that yet. There is one, the runt, who struggles to get to my office from the dog bed the litter is in, doesn't stay with his mates or his Mom except to eat and sleep if I am out of the office. It is strange behavior for such a young puppy whose eyes are barely open. I have to stop what I am doing to silence the cries and carry it back and stash it with the rest, time after time. Once they get mobile it is going to be a real pain in my backside if he persists in the "got to have an adventure/got to be with you, Dad, 24/7" behavior.

That is so exactly Chyna.

Not A Rockstar

Rhyme Or Reason?

Early on, I developed this "rule" that paranormal or supernatural events had to make sense, or they weren't "right". In the beginning, my definition of "right" was "of God" because I was still recovering from the religious indoctrination that anything beyond humdrum was of the devil. So, it had to make sense, serve a purpose, or it was "of the devil".

This did not last long. The fact is, we rarely know why we get one thing but not a word about another, bigger thing. You are not going to easily find rhyme or reason in anything paranormal. I find this annoying, frankly. That Bible verse about how the Lord works in mysterious ways feels like an annoying cop out, much of the time to me. I admit it.

Back when I was maybe two years or so into my first hitch in the Air Force, stationed out West at the time, a strange thing happened. I was tired, long day, walking to my car and one of the pilots, an officer, was coming my way on the sidewalk. We reached each other and saluted, and as my hand raised it suddenly hit me with absolute belief and certainty that he was dying. He gave me an odd look so I am sure a weird expression came over my face but he walked on and I stood there in confusion. 

This had never happened to me before. It was the last thing on my mind, I barely knew that man. Just a name around the squadron to me. It had to make sense, it had to serve a purpose, but, what purpose? In that split second I knew he was as good as dead. I saw in his eyes he also knew it. The man was dying. Why the heck did I need to know and what was I supposed to do about it? 

This upset me to no end, to wonder why it happened, this useless and sad insight. Sad for him, Sad for me to worry useless stuff like this maybe meant I really was evil and had demons playing with my mind and was of the devil. Old accusations still haunted me then. I brushed them aside, prayed a great deal for insight and for God to keep me safely, and two days later while I was working, suddenly the squadron intercom came on and the Commander told us that pilot had just crashed and had not ejected, out on the range. He was presumed dead.

Such things are terribly sad within close military units as we had there, but it also stirred up again my feelings over that moment of insight as I saluted him two days before. It troubled me for a few hours, why had I seen it? What did it mean? Then, the analyst in me kicked in and I realized he had known he was dying, and he had chosen to die that way. His family would get more money for him dying on duty if nothing else. It was quick. He was too good to mess up like that or not bail out. It had been suicide, I believe now. 

But, still, why did I see that? Why must I, who had nothing to do with him or his friends or family have to know this?

I never told anyone, of course. Would not have anyway. But, I have come to realize that an ability to pick things up doesn't mean it is some cosmic plan to reveal something specific to you. All that happened is I picked it up as we passed on the sidewalk. A random ability like this is sort of a sacred thing the way I see it. I am not a voyeur sort. What I see is screened harshly before I speak of anything, because I have a massive respect for other people and their secrets and shadows. I did pray for him and his family especially, because of that odd insight, but otherwise it is simply a thing, one of those things. I hope he got to say all he wanted and did as he wished before he ran his plane into the ground. I hope he knew peace and went happy enough doing what he loved. It is not my concern to judge or deal with it further. 

Information might be like bubbles, little blown bubbles in the air, and you get the tiny tingle of moisture from it if it pops closely to your skin. A bit of data floating about. It is not all about you or some larger purpose beyond that we are all fellows, made in the image of our Creator it is said. Maybe it is just a shared moment in silence of humanity. 

Maybe, as it is so human, that is why there is no rhyme or reason to it much of the time. 

I write to serve.

 

Not A Rockstar

Join The Club

I have to drive my elderly Mother to various places now she lives close enough for me to watch over her. Today was my day to get up and take her to her hairdresser's. Lisa is a good kid who does well with her hair but recently has gotten involved with some unnamed discount club membership she sells and supposedly the profit potential for selling these memberships into the group are worth a good deal. She tried setting my wife and I up for a chance to "watch the dvd about it" and declined to tell me the name so I could just google it later. She said she wanted to make sure I heard the good things about it, not the bad things that were said out there, and besides the one who sold her her membership was a pastors wife.

For any thinking person, there's about six flashing, waving red flags in the whole deal right there. I know, flags do not flash, but these ones do :). I got Mom done and drove her home and have zero plans to go anywhere near this meeting to watch some dvd with her and this pastor's wife. I will give Lisa credit, she has been a friend even before she got into this "club". Most of these deals are tossed at me by people who were not pals before but all of a sudden I am to believe they care about me and my wealth and happiness now.

It is not unlike running into people here who have pet ideas, religions, beliefs or mindsets. Like Lisa, they are generally friends. They mean well, but, they seem compelled in some cases to try to force everything to their worldview or debate you into their opinion. Like Lisa even if I bought, it would never bring them, or her, the returns as advertised. Momentary validation, perhaps. Both require a type of missionary zeal. Sales is easier for me to understand though. A commission is a commission, however small. 

Whoever gets in charge starts off with good intentions but soon degrades into the same abusiveness of the system as the previous crowd in control. I watch them disrespect a poster by deliberately diverting a thread into offensive and occasional crude off topic exchanges. Believe as I do or I will pollute your forum space and topic. Believe as I do or I will not like you. I will not be nice to you. I will say mean things and exaggerate your every human fault I can find.

These same people were the abused ones before, these same people were dismayed to be blown off or insulted. I wish they would remember that and if for no other reason, realize they do their own passionate views a disservice and reduce buyers by being jerks. Obviously, their point of view is not one which imparts more empathy or better class or taste. 

It is important to know yourself and be your own club to be able to stay true to what you are under it all when participating in a team sport like debates and forums. Many threads here are not unlike your family dinner table at major holidays, as much stress and unpleasantness as any fun or affection that might be there as well. Know yourself, know your team, and try real hard to avoid the pitfalls of becoming a jerk if you feel agreed with and thus "in power" in a given topic, or for that matter, being disagreed with. 

Debates are not a bad thing. They challenge you to know where you really stand, or how you really think. They dare you to find facts to either strengthen your position or realize you do not have a good footing after all. If you keep your grace and class, nobody really loses, whatever the general consensus ends up as. But, to me, as soon as you dip into the trash behavior, you are the loser. Mockery is about the weakest form of debate tool and typically just reveals you as being the weaker hand there. If you want my respect, show me respect.

I deserve it.

I assume you also do?

Not A Rockstar

Seriously! Not So Much...

Vodou is seen as such a serious, evil religion of secrets and powerful magic and demonic entities running amok, except by those who get their news via Hollywood. The truth is probably somewhere in the middle, but one thing we do is take the lwa seriously. A lwa is one of the recognized spirits we work with within the canon of Vodou, I suppose you would say. We break those thousands down into 21 Nations and to refer to 21 Nations is like saying "all of them".

Taking them seriously, however, is not something that demands that you should take yourself seriously. This is a lesson useful to anyone pursuing the paranormal or occultic worlds. Just, develop a sense of humor and don't worry so darn much about your ego. Most definitely learn to worry a lot less about what other folks think of you. 

I remember being in the middle of a service, standing to one side as I was not serving in this celebration, simply was attending. It was, actually, in the rough middle as this is when the Ghede, the Forgotten Dead, get called and sung for in the reglemen, between the Rada and the Petwo portions. Usually, I am into the services when I go, but it had been a long few weeks and things were not that great on the job front and I was tired. I had a lot on my mind, so there I was, standing to one side and probably looking serious and focused, when I really wasn't.

One of the Ghede had arrived and was cavorting around and stealing someone's can of Coke, most everyone was watching him, all the guests there to see voodoo and real lwa coming in person/possession for themselves, but the Elders running the service were aware that one of the bigger Dead had shown up and were getting him what he wanted, greeting him, assessing his mood. Ghede come in two styles, roughly, the way I experience them, or maybe two moods. They are either out there dancing and playing and romping like kids or dancing erotically to shock people, or they are serious as Death, more like one of the Barons in demeanor. A Baron (Bawon in Kreyol) is a Lord of Death, master of Graveyards, Death. The Barons are the Overlords of the Ghede Tribe. Having never really been on the outside, I find it hard to know them and worry about Death and dying that much. No way am I some exhaustive compendium of everything vodou. But, to me, some of the bigger Ghede feel very like the Barons do in presence, This one felt like that to me so I was not expecting him to snatch a Coke or try to get one of the girls to dance with him. This is a transitional point in services, which can go on for hours, and is generally fun and comic relief as much as sometimes poignant, if one has come to help a person there with a need. Ghede can heal, they can do a lot of very fundamental things people all need, being very close to the earth. This one felt Baron-like but I have never noted Barons to come in for public services all that much. In our lineage my Elder Mambo has a wonderful and serious Ghede who sometimes comes in for us even in public, but, as a rule it is the party mode Ghedes I see come in mostly for the public events, which this one was.

On the other hand, I was not expecting him to bother with me. I adore the Ghede and as a priest work with them same as any of the other 21 Nations of spirits, but I can't say I have ever had a warmer relationship with them than others. My special close nations do not include them, which is sad as I adore me some Ghede. How can you not love them? But, he got his cigar and he got him some piman (alcohol with a LOT of hot peppers infused. Nobody not in real possession is going to be drinking that mess, believe me!) and drank about half the bottle before he set his top hat on his head and took his cane and walked over to me. Just like that. 

I greeted him officially and ceremonially, happy he was acknowledging me, and realized in quiet surprise I knew who this was. It was one of the Ghede that confused me, as he felt like a Baron yet was spoken of as a Ghede. I had picked him up early on after my Initiation and we spoke occasionally during meditations but I had never met him anywhere in person. Some know him as Rivauge.

Unlike most, he spoke in clear English, and he did not care about anyone else but who he had come to see. He waved our translators off and talked quietly with me about my concerns at work, told me what he was going to do to some of the people causing me a great deal of grief, and some of what was coming to them, which was a bit shocking as it included federal arrests even. I had had no idea these butts were criminal under their smugness and abusiveness!

Then he eyed me a long minute with a faint smile and finally told me he liked me.

"I like you, too, very much, Bawon Rivauge," I replied, as it felt right to call him Bawon, not Ghede, and he accepted it as correct so there you go.

Then he said, "Listen, I do something for you, to show how I love you. I tell you when you going to die so you can not worry about this until then, yes?"

I laughed out loud. I'm sorry, but this is funny. Dozens of people watching me with him, and wondering what the hell we are talking about for so long, and he offers to tell me when I am going to die. I didn't believe a bit of it, either. They can be great jokers. Nothing is ever exactly what it seems.

"That would be good to know, thanks. So when will I be dying, Papa Rivauge?"

He paused, made a face. "I tell you the age, not the day."

I agreed. Then he told me two different ages, leaning in close to whisper it. 

I pondered this and then looked at him as he watched me intently for reaction. I kept a straight face.

"So, which is it? Which age? Or do I die twice, then?" I asked, trying not to laugh.

"Not decided yet," he told me gravely.

"So, then, what will decide it. Papa?"

He thought, then smiled faintly at me.

"I cannot tell you this. But, see, if you live past the first age, then it will be the next, for sure."

"I see. Thank you for this, Papa."

"But, of course. I give answers to my special ones, and I like you. I have to go now."

"Thank you," I said and damn but he left that fast, I caught the Initiate as they went down and collapsed as he left, surprised and delighted, really, that my astral chat buddy had confirmed the contact with me this way in front of the House for me. I question everything, take it with a grain of salt unless I get some proof. I guess a sceptic could claim it was a group hallucination, but, it simply was not and I never talked about Rivauge with anyone. He never was one with connections to our lineage, seemed to be specific to me and a spirit I had picked up along the way at that.

So, what good does it do me? None, really, it was just fun. What he said about those people destroying my happiness at work proved true. They went to prison, seriously, shortly after I left the department, had enough of the in-house abuse and clique. Nice most of it got to hang out in the pen, though. Bonding and all that. So maybe I will die at one of two ages. If I pass the first age, maybe the second will prove true.

But, the point of it is that it really doesn't matter. It is about joy and surprises and things that make you wonder. That is the point of life to me. Not being believed, not starting some big Vodou House of my own, or analyzing why I might die at this point or that one. Not getting angry at the so typical "I can't tell you that". I actually understand that and find it amusing.

Like the Bawons, it is about setting your top hat on right and swinging your cane with style and making a memory. Or dancing while the music is playing, just because you can, like the Ghede.

There is no need to take yourself so seriously that the joy of life leeches away. We do that too much, let it happen. Why do you?

Much love to you. I write to serve.

Not A Rockstar

Why Journey or Meditate?

Sitting here on a really beautiful Louisiana Spring morning, looking out my office window into a million shades of green on a backdrop of clean blue sky and drinking my coffee. Dogs asleep, my lady is asleep, my world is quiet. My thoughts are on the question of how is journeying as a shaman any different from meditation. Why do it at all? 

I am not in a lotus position, not in yoga tights, nor am I in any shamanic trappings. Just gazing out my window in a gray thermal shirt and ratty jeans and old slippers my daughter gave me some Christmas past, but, it is meditation, a journey of a sort. Some interesting things have come to light to talk about, so, I sit down at the desk and start typing as I hear my lady getting up and teasing the dogs in the kitchen. The day has begun in the Not A Rockstar household.

It really does not matter what your religion is, or if you reject all of them totally, a habit of meditation is a healthy and needful thing in today's world more than ever. You do not realize how totally you are bombarded by programming to control you non-stop in the world. News casters fighting for your opinion to match theirs, advertisers wanting you to desire their brand of waffles, political sound bytes pro this, anti that. You cannot open a paper, turn on the tv or dial up a radio without propaganda of some sort flooding your senses. There is always the buzz of a tv in the background or a radio somewhere.

Meditation is quiet time, alone with just you and your mind, and your higher self, to be still, to learn how to quiet your mind, to think nothing, or else in the stillness let your mind drift along a topic you choose and quietly bring up points onto the canvas of your mind about it. Get to know yourself, be quiet, gauge your at rest energy and how you really feel. 

For most of us, the only time we do something like this is when we go to bed, and it is restless, a small battle to quiet ourselves enough to sleep. We are so busy running. No wonder we get sick, no wonder we stress, no wonder we so often feel tired. There is never any time for us in the course of living our lives, ironically.

I talked about mediation in an earlier blog as clearing your mind. It is a discipline wherein we train ourselves to get control over the mind monkeys and stop the never ending chatter in our brain. One of the most key verses in the Bible is "Be still and know that I am God." It is written in the middle of a story with a lot of noise and wild excitement and fire and sound and it was not until the prophet was still and quiet that he heard God's voice. It is the same for us. It is not until you truly are quiet and still and simply relax on the hilltop that the view can seep into your empty places and truly be seen and experienced and savored and joined for a while. It is in that quiet where we meet ourselves and who we truly are. 

I think of it as white space.

Journeying is something similar but very different. I have three different spirit forms or guides I use as a shaman and depending on what I am wanting to do or find out I will choose one of them and become it and go. I can use anything but I have three favorites which fit best. Old habits. Far from white space or quiet, my journeys have always been vivid and filled with living things, many of those life that we do not see in our reality. I can go anywhere, I can see anything, and meet anyone at all. This is how a shaman travels for information and understanding and training and before I was anything else in this life, I was a shaman. I came into this life as one, with memories so clear this world seemed the dream and strange to me, and it was scary for a while to feel trapped somewhere else until I caught on that this was the new life and that one was gone but apparently that understanding was needed in this one and it was alright and all me just the same. I died really young and violently in that life, it was sad and for even sadder reasons, so maybe this life was also to wrap up and complete some things from that one, too. It made sense to me then. It still does. Apologies to my dear friends who do not believe in reincarnation. This is what I know.

The very first thing people ask me who think they want to be a shaman is what to take or smoke to get high for a journey. Seriously, this is always one of their first three questions. It is also why I have never accepted a student in shamanism. I have NEVER, not one time, used any drug or substance or hallucinogen or even alcohol to journey. If I am drunk, I do not journey. I was not taught that way back in early Egypt when I was in a small Order and taught these things, and I do not do it now. It took years and work to break your mind exactly and rightly to be able to go into these places and we took the time and it was hard and not everyone succeeded. Those became scribes or artisans or did other things for the Order. 

I floundered in this life for a long time until I discovered the music of Inlakesh in my early 20's. That was my journeying drug of choice. I have worn out tapes and CDs of theirs over the years and just a few days ago cleaning out a drawer I found one of their CDs and put it in the player and the old joys swept over me again. I was primed and floating that simply just to hear the familiar tones again. A cursor on the screen, an eagle on the wind, ready to go. 

Maybe it differs for others. As a shaman, I relate to Native American religions, and the Maori traditions deeply but I do not need anything from either of them. The type of belief structure is alike but those are not mine. I do not understand cultural appropriation or see any need for or honor in it. That material is not yours unless you are of that people. You have your own, we all do, and need to go and find that again, bring it back. That is what will work best for you, if you really are a shaman. That old Order is long gone, we were killed off by a rival group which went on to become an early temple in Egypt and our group is forgotten. I don't think the temple has ever been found under the sands, small as it was, by an oasis that traders came and went by in southern Egypt. But, are we gone? I am here again, and I remember, and I have met one other fellow priest from there who is out there running around and who remembers. There are more of us. 

I am not actually rambling here. This is the difference that I see between journeying as a shaman and meditating. Journeying is about the past wisdoms and ideas and knowledge. It is a space where myths are real and you can walk with dragons and see the magnetic webbing of the realms of creation. It is controlled madness. It is about losing yourself into the whole.

Meditation is about today and the future and you. Finding you. Hearing you.

At least this is how I see it.

Much love. Tremendous love to you.

I write to serve.

Not A Rockstar

Meditation and Other Mind Working

This seemed a good time to define a few terms about meditation and other things we can do with our minds. It used to be that meditating was the "cool" thing to do. Now, everyone wants to channel and be a medium. I find it encouraging to know that so many people are interested in exploring what they can do. I find it depressing past expressing how much really bad information is out there, due in part because people don't know what they are talking about, and in part because others think it is a bad thing to wave the bs flag or advise someone to seek medical or mental health assistance. You do no one any favors by lying or being polite, or hiding behind your monitor and pretending to be an expert. You can really hurt people playing games like that.

Meditation is simply emptying your mind of concerns and resting in the silence of your spirit within. That is the simplest definition. It can take a while to conquer the mind monkeys - our tendency to always be thinking, always have something going on mentally. Back in the 70s there was a lot of uproar against doing this, as being a (bad) Eastern practice, or that my leaving your mind empty and quiet, you were leaving an open door for demons. I lived those days and meditated then and heard it all. I did alright.

What does it do for you? It was like a power nap, when I got good at it, I could meditate for 15 minutes and feel more mentally alert and even sometimes would stand up and discover an issue I had been wrestling with suddenly seemed easier now to solve, as if while I had not been thinking, the answer had come and waited to be seen. Over time, once I had the discipline to not think about the day or the issues or things, just relax and float, I sensed my energy and started to work with it and learned about the chakras and how to open those and flow more energy. There is a lot more information out there for you about chakras today than I had access to then, but, I would advise you to choose your sources with care and avoid religious related ones unless you adhere to that specific religion. There is no need to blur your personal paradigm as you work on yourself by mixing sources indiscriminately. You do not need a mantra, you do not need a mat or anything special, no need to buy anything either. Just find a quiet place you feel safe in and sit down and do it your way. If you like the mantras and having a special mat and adding in yoga and more, feel free, just know you do not need anything but yourself and a quiet place to do this.

I recently read a very distressing post on another forum from a poster who was obviously confused and had a lot of wrong ideas about the mind and how this works. Let me just be really clear here and simply tell you that nobody else can read your mind, you are quite safe and private within your mind, and alone there. The devil can't hear your thoughts, nor can the nutters claiming they can either. Period.

Telepathy is an ability to send your thoughts as in a message to someone else.  This is not an ability I ever worked with and I am not expert on it, though I know when my wife leaves work to start her drive home and she knows when I need her to call me when she has a break. This is a natural bond we have, nothing we worked on. Real telepathy is like that but willed, as I understand it, and can be more involved. It still is not a case of others with this ability being able to read your mind and needing you to develop some elaborate blocking techniques or defenses. Do not let people scare you with such silliness. Also do not confuse this with Meditation or anything else. Find a real teacher to help you learn this right if it really is what you want to do. The real ones aren't common. I know of one. He is who I would go to on anything I needed to know more about this. 

Channeling is really popular right now and a lot of young people are out there trying to do this right out of the chute and it is a sad thing to observe. I am not sure they really understand what it is they are trying to do, or the consequences of doing it wrongly. Way back when I was a kid, long distance phone calls cost a great deal of money. When we called that way we made sure of the number and we paid attention how long we talked to Grandma or our friends. It was not like it is now where a misdial on the cell is no big deal and usually free anyway. Channeling is like long distance calls used to be. Your psychic senses are the phone line in a way, and you are allowing another entity to communicate through your line. 

To keep this simple, some of them are dirty, some will cost a lot more than you budgeted for. A lot of it can be your own self doing it and this can cause you actual mental health issues. It is not worth doing wrong to seem cool to your friends or let yourself fantasize that you somehow have a special ability which actually is just make believe. Most real, successful channels I know are already very good at meditation, they already are mature in that skill, and they "call" only one spirit they know well and personally. It is best treated like a sacred relationship by you, kept for your special contact or two. It is a disastrous and reckless foolishness to simply open up to whatever is out there and willing to talk. Trash in, trash out. Unfortunately, the trash piles up inside your head. It is really sad to see someone who wanted so badly to contact spirit but ends up deluded and convinced of lies and fantasies and messes their life up with this sort of thing. Do not encourage your friends along this sad road, and above all take personal responsibility and do not allow yourself to run along that highway, either. If in doubt, shut it down. Do not become pathetic that way. You can actually hurt yourself playing with this wrongly and letting yourself become deluded. It can lead to depression and even suicide in some people. Do not play, do not encourage your friends to play. Get real answers and talk to people who know about this for real, not kids posting on forums. Please, I beg you. 

"But, Not A Rockstar, I don't know a spirit to talk with!" Then you do not need to be doing this. Spirits are not equal and the good ones, the safe ones, are not hanging out bored and waiting to chat.

Mediumship is also really hot these days. If Hollywood pushes it on TV, then everyone wants to do it. There are some real mediums out there, but there are a ton of fakes. I am not doing spirit a disservice to ask you to research cold reading as aggressively as you research mediumship. Educate yourself on what fakes do and how they fake out really smart people. This will help you recognize when you run into the real deal. 

Let me explain something. If you have a genuine gift and a real calling to use it for people, you will have the help spiritually to find teachers and the right way to begin working with it and learning how to do it right. In the past week alone I have to counsel three different young people who believed they were to be talking with the dead, believed they saw them and got messages as well. All three have been under the care of psychiatrists and are still sneaking out trying to find a way to do this, and they are mistaken. All three deeply fear death or have tremendous personal troubles and issues and can barely handle reality and I have to tell you, this is not the qualities a true medium or psychic has. They are suffering a terrible delusion. This is not funny and I am really sad because I fear they will move on to another advisor until they find one more than happy to jack off their own ego playing advisor and saying what these ill people wish to hear and never face the truth they are damaging people and can actually be responsible for landing them into depression or mental issues that could even lead to suicide. 

Viewing is a generalized ability I just call that. When I needed a word for what I occasionally do, it fit better than psychic or medium or remote viewer or reader. I am a jack of most trades that way. Years ago I used to use tarot cards but anymore I don't use anything. Once in a while a friend or old client will call and ask for a reading or some advice and it kicks in. It can be a blend of any of the "clairs" (voyance, audience, sentience), it can be remote viewing, it can involve someone who has died, it might include one of my spirit contacts stepping closer to be channeled. Or, it might not kick in at all and I have nothing for them but the advice of a friend. I do not give readings as such anymore. I did for a while and made good money at it, but I stopped as too many want to call weekly instead of learning how to live their own lives and it is like enabling an alcoholic to me. I want no part of that karma. 

I think this is what most working psychics actually do, a blend of different things as they work. Workers who have matured into it don't even think of these things as separate as it just flows and feels natural and I think it is. I think most of it is natural to some more than others.

The real challenge is to accept personal responsibility for yourself and insist on reality in your efforts to develop these sorts of abilities. If what you get is not true, if it is not good or helpful or to the point, if you feel off or depressed or scattered, stop. Find a solid advisor. Ask for help. It does not come easy or fast. I have been doing this for over five decades and am still learning. You do not pick what you want to be good at. You find out if you are good at something and then work with that.

I hope this helps someone trying to sort out the truth from the bs out there. No, I won't give you a reading :).

I write to serve. 

Not A Rockstar

The Clairs: Psychic Abilities?

Too much gets made of the "clairs" in my opinion. Everyone has them, it is not something beyond normal, though some people use them more and are more open to them. Some may dispute this, but, in my experience none of them are available on demand and they do not work exactly the way you might hope at the time. I am not addressing Remote Viewing in this blog post. 

Clairvoyance is an ability which allows people to see things which are not literally present with the person seeing them. They can be like a flash - as if a movie screen turned on and then off of an action scene in a film and left you still standing in your kitchen at home confused over what you just saw for 15 seconds. I read stories about this happening to people who have someone close to them in vehicle crashes, like a Mother when her child is in a wreck. A flash scene and then later, a phone call. 

Sometimes it can be much more involved. I got a flash dream one night that came like a data burst across my senses and woke me up in a panic and I reached for the phone and called my dearest person other than my wife and woke her up, told her what I saw as it unfolded in my mind's eye. I was seeing the disaster that Katrina was going to bring in New Orleans and warning my spiritual sister there. She believed me, packed her household and three young children up and got out. Her two story house was a complete loss and spent weeks under water to the roofline. They would have died had she not been somewhere other than her "safe" home. That never happened to me before, nor since, like that, though I work with my "clairs" a great deal.

In readings it sometimes kicks in and while I am talking to a client, I will sometimes see things in the back of my mind's eye, as if my brain is seeing, though my literal eyeballs aren't seeing it or getting the imagery. Often it has little to do with the reading, might be their house or I might see a person I am talking to them about and from it will describe them, so they know who it is I am seeing.

Clairaudience is what I think of as a companion sense to Clairvoyance. Unless you are a channel, it does not usually stand on its own clearly to be defined. It is like clairvoyance, except it is sound. Your brain gets sound information without your ear drum literally ever moving or registering anything. I see a lot of posts from people claiming they hear their name being called and wanting to know what it is about. The answer is it can be your imagination, or maybe you are having an experience with clairaudience. 

I was doing a reading for a friend the other day and as we talked, I was seeing her neighborhood, the building she lived in, and a busy roadway nearby - typical for me when I have a real good connection for the read. As I saw it, I could hear the traffic sounds. That is clairaudience, a sort of enhancer for the other two clairs. In theory, I suppose someone might have only this gift and be able to read from sounds alone, but, I have not heard of it, so cannot speak to that.

Clairsentience is a supposedly psychic skill of sensing things which aren't obviously there to be felt. This is one of the harder skills to explain for me. I think of it as an inner barometer for me. When I walk into allegedly haunted places it is how I feel out the space and determine what is there, or what is not. More to the point, when I was a cop I used this when I was alone and had to go into a building I found broken into to not end up with my head bashed in or shot at. When you are commonly the only officer for an entire end of a county on the night shift, it is handy to have well honed. 

My sense of an area radiates within me, it is felt inside, warnings are sort of more radiant in the direction of the threat and I focus my senses this way and they get clearer then or clairvoyance may kick in then and I perceive a flash of two kids hiding or something like that when I was working. Or more commonly, I would feel nothing but coldness, and the place was empty in fact. I could know this from the entryway or shortly into the place, but always checked it all for the business owner, and never felt any need to explain. Let them see the physical search, it was what they trusted in and what my official report required anyway. My "psychic" senses were just to keep my own hide intact and nobody else's business. 

I know there are some practitioners who have an ability to hold an item and read things about the owner. I have zero of this ability, and so nothing to say beyond that it is related to clairsentience.

Why I do not make much of the "Clair" sisters is because I think everyone has them. Gut feelings, a hunch, a sense of warning. Ancient survival instincts from being the hunter or the hunted as we evolved from the original wilds to our modern wilds today. I got a vision of Katrina. I am dead sure many others got bad feelings about it and either left or called friends there and begged them to come up for the week "just in case". Most would never credit some psychic gift for it, and do not have to. We all have these sisters, they are inherent to most humans, in my opinion. Just some of us run into them enough we get to noticing them. It does not make you special for having them. Let us get real about this, pride is an ugly thing, so hit the dirt and stay real, please. 

For those wondering how to work with this more inside themselves, I do not know what to say, really. Be open to it as a possibility natural to you. Keep a written record, like a journal. Watch your imagination and don't let it get the better of you. I still had my gun out while clearing those buildings even if I really was sure no one was there. So should you :).

I write to serve.