Need a reading? I know a guy.

Happy solstice, Christmas, Hanukkah, Yule, New Year, and any other holiday you may be celebrating or using as an excuse to emboozen yourself or eat too much food!

I know I haven’t been very talkative as of late, but following my adventures in October, I’m taking it easy (both voluntarily and involuntarily) and not being very active right now.  Which is fine, since it’s giving me time to unwind, relax, and also work on my geomancy book (which, yes, is still in progress despite Life happening and other delays, and no, there is no ETA on it beyond “maybe next year sometime who knows hopefully sooner rather than later”).  Without divulging too much about it (if you couldn’t guess from liberal hints dropped on social media), then basically, I’m currently in a…recuperative stage, where I’m letting recent changes settle in and getting myself built back up.  It’s not the easiest or quickest process, but I’m in the process all the same.

However, as a result, I cannot do divination readings for people until next October.  I can certainly help with chart interpretations or schedule consultations on rituals and magic generally, yes, but I’m not able to perform divination as a service currently.  That said, if you need a good diviner on your side to help puzzle things out or sort out proper actions, I would suggest Qian I Ching, who is both my student and colleague, and whose services in divination encompassing multiple systems (including our all-time favorite, geomancy!) are very highly-rated, both by myself and many of his return clients.  You could do much worse than to look him up, and he’s currently doing a 50% sale until Christmastime on December 25:

  • I Ching with Coins: CAD$10 (normally $20)
  • I Ching with Yarrow Stalks: CAD$30 (normally $60)
  • Geomancy: CAD$15 (normally $30)
  • Greek Bone Oracle: CAD$10 (normally $20)
  • Tarot with Three Cards: CAD$7.50 (normally $15)

All prices are in Canadian dollars and are determined by the query and method of divination to be used.  If you need a reading done, go schedule one quick, because the sale won’t last for long!

And here we go.

The past month has been incredible for me, and incredibly busy.  All told, I have accomplished four novenas, three feast days, a New Moon and Full Moon offering, hikes to nine churches, a bachelor party, scrambling to deal with multigovernment paperwork, two religious anniversaries, my own wedding anniversary, two séances, three awkward and unusual-snelling spiritual baths, the installation of a new shrine, and welcoming Hermes back for this round of direct Mercury motion, all while getting far too little sleep and spending far too much money.

The past year has been as huge and crazy for me.  I got a new terrible job at a high pay raise, got married to the love of my life in a surprise ceremony orchestrated by the gods themselves, bought my first house, and returned to my old awesome job at the same pay level I was getting at the recent terrible one.  I have gone from elated to anxiety-ridden to depressed to infuriated, from ascended heat to abyssal cold, multiple times over and back.

And all of that is a warmup for what is about to kick off what will be the most interesting and memorable birthday vacation ever for me this and next week.

This is the year I turn black lead into white gold by means of red iron.  Those who are close to me know what I mean by that; those who don’t know, well, know that it’s going to be spectacular, and I couldn’t be more excited.  Basically, I’m about to undertake a massive spiritual work, the duration of which will take place over the next full year.  Related to this, I will not be taking any requests for divination, consultation, teaching, or crafting during this time.  I’ll still be around to write posts, respond to questions, and work on my geomancy book, so I’m not going completely off-grid, but know that much of my time over the next year will be focused internally rather than externally.  I may take some time after it’s all done with to discuss what I’m doing and why, but that’ll be later.  In the meantime, while I’m getting reoriented and figuring out what the hell’s going on inside and outside my sphere, why not take a look through my blog’s archives?  Over the past five-or-six years, I’ve written so much that even I forget what I’ve put out, from advice from specific spirits to whole methods of energy work and everything in-between.  Even I could use a good review now and again, and I’m just as impressed as anyone that I’ve done what I’ve done and said what I said.

In the near term, I will be unavailable to reply to messages, emails, or other communiques until later this month, around October 18 (assuming I’m conscious and competent enough to use a phone or computer).  I love you.  Be good, or be good at it.  If you have to get into trouble, make it worthy of a good story to tell afterwards.

For getting me to this point in my life, I thank all the theoi, ancestors, saints, angels, and demons, and I thank all my family, friends, colleagues, teachers, and cohorts.  I also especially thank you, my dearest and most awesome readers, for supporting me throughout all these years of Work, and for many more years of Work to come, because no matter how much I’ve done so far, it’s certainly far from complete.

An Open Letter to my Representative on Orlando

An open letter to the Honorable Rob J. Wittman, Representative of the First District of Virginia in the United States House of Representatives, sent to him individually on June 13, 2016 in response to the Orlando attack on the queer community and shared for all to see.  Modified to remove my own personal details, but…this needs to be said and stated aloud on all forums I belong to.  This past weekend has not been kind, and I will not be silent.  If you’re a US resident, lease visit http://whoismyvoice.com/ and see who your congressional representatives are, and send them a message of your own.  What happened in Orlando cannot happen again, because each day we do nothing is one more that I could be killed for being gay, and you wouldn’t want your favorite occult blogger to be killed, would you?  I hope not.  Read and share, my friends, and please help me and help each other in this time of crisis for the LGBTQ and Latinx communities.  Normally I wouldn’t post such explicitly political stuff on this blog, but this is not a normal time for us.

I am a resident of Prince William County for three years, and a lifelong Virginian. I am privileged to be a member of your constituency, and to live in the beautiful forested foothills of the Appalachians alongside my family, my friends, and my colleagues. I would live in no other place on this green earth, and each day I wake up and breathe this air is one I cherish with joy and love for Virginia and for Virginians. As we say, Virginia is for lovers.

I am also gay, and this past weekend has left me reeling in sorrow and anguish. As you know, early in the morning this past Sunday, June 12, a mentally unstable, homophobic, radicalized madman rushed into the gay club Pulse in Orlando, Florida, killing 49 people and injuring another 53 before he was killed in a gun fight. These people, though I have never met them, are part of my extended family in the LGBTQ community. Although me and mine are blessed that none of my direct contacts were there that night, many of my friends and colleagues did, and we are all in mourning. Not only is this a grievous attack on the queer community that I call family, but that night was also Latin Night at Pulse, and the vast majority were people of color, largely those of Hispanic and Latin descent; yes, this was a direct attack on the queer community merely for being who they are and loving whom they will, but this was also a painful loss for the Latino community of Florida and for the United States of America.

I know that, according to your website and your voting record in the House of Representatives, you stand for a pro-family stance. Yes, I know that you likely disagree with the 2014 Virginia Supreme Court decision on Bostic v. Schaefer, and the 2015 United States Supreme Court decision on Obergefell v. Hodges that both guarantee a right for two people of the same sex to marry in Virginia and the United States as a whole, respectively. Yes, I know you likely find my marriage to my husband “wrong” in some sense and that it goes against some of your religious commitments. But, if you have the time, please spare a minute not for prayers and thoughts and heartfelt outreach to the communities of those impacted by the attack in Orlando, but give some thought to the notion of “family” today. My husband and I have formed our own family; while we do not have children, many same-sex couples do, either through adoption, earnest conception, or in vitro fertilization. Regardless what types of families individuals of the queer community choose to raise, we all come from families, men and women such as you and your wife. The loss of any child is uniformly painful to an ineffable degree, much more so if they were innocently slain on a night of celebration of life and love.

Like any guy in his late 20s, I enjoy a good drink and a good night out on the town. However, I find that many places do not accept me because I love and have married another man, and so I turn to specifically gay clubs and bars for nights out. These places are sanctuaries for my community, where we can dance, talk, and meet others without the threat of being judged, insulted, attacked, or killed. Many queer youth have never felt that sort of safety before stepping into a gay club; it is hard to understand, if you’ve been straight all your life, that we cannot take a cute peck on the cheek or the simple pleasure of holding hands in the park for granted. Art, music, stories, and lifelong friendships form in these places of partying and drinking, and their power as social centers in the queer community cannot be understated. However, Sunday’s shooting in Orlando shattered the safety we feel, even given security guards and police protections, and no one escapes that sense of complete and utter faith-shattering despair when we realize that “…by God, it could have been me”. Any night I go out, whether to a gay club or to the Irish pub down the road, whether to the park or to a museum, is one that I could be killed and cut down merely for talking the “wrong” way, walking the “wrong” way, holding hands with the “wrong” person, or any other number of homophobic criteria that make me a scumbag target worthy of being killed, and not a human being with rights and dignity that I deserve as a citizen of the United States of America.

Representative Wittman, please understand that I am not writing to you for the sake of turning you liberal, undoing your pro-family work, or joining the next Pride parade (although you are more than welcome to participate to learn more about me and my community). In fact, I too am very pro-family; the family is sacrosanct and never to be belittled. However, my understanding of the word “family” is somewhat different than yours; I consider ties of love as strongly and as worthy as ties of blood. Understand, Representative Wittman, that any night I go out, or even any day I wake up, is one that I can be killed because I’m queer. Not because I stole from another, not because I insulted another, not because I violated any laws, but because my mere existence is considered detestable and an abomination by those who disregard the law for the sake of killing and murder.

I do not want to be murdered. I do not want my husband, my friends, my colleagues, my allies, or my family to be murdered. I do not want anyone on this planet to be murdered, especially not for the sake and endeavor of love and the pursuit of happiness, and I would hope you would agree and would work to prevent the slaying of your constituents. For us, prayers and thoughts after a shooting may help us through the process of mourning, but they do not prevent any single one of us from being killed.

We need action. Representative Wittman, I need your action. I plead to you as your constituent that you help stand for all families in Virginia, not just those with a man and a woman at the head; that you defend our rights and our dignity as you would for any individual seeking a modicum of joy and solace in this world of violence and terror; that you help prevent mass shootings, both against the queer community and for all communities of all races, religions, nationalities, ages, sexual orientations, gender identifications, and all other identities not by post facto moments of silence but preemptive laws and stances that keep weapons of mass destruction and weapons of assault out of the hands of anyone who would use them against their fellow man.

I know that you value input on legislation from the National Rifle Association, but please consider the possibility that they stand for a minority viewpoint that often leads to error and folly, such as those that lead to the saddest of outcomes. I fully admit and cherish the right for us to bear arms for our defense and the defense of liberty against tyranny; my own household makes use of this right and we take pride in our ability and preparedness to stand our own against those who would harm us. That said, this man who was clearly mentally unstable legally bought his weapons of death, and killed near fifty people, some as young as 18 years old. This is not a case of “things happen”; this does not happen in other parts of the world, and we can see that they have taken action that many here refuse to take. We can take that same action while still holding true to our constitutional American principles. Please, Representative, stand for these principles, and also stand for our right to live free from the threat of being murdered.

I know that you take your faith very seriously, but please consider all of what Christ taught, foremost of which was to support and love all of your fellow man, to act first and to judge never. Rhetoric that led to the shooter slaying my community is frequently heard across the world in places dominated by radicalized and extremist governments, but it is also heard in the hallowed halls of the Capitol from your own colleagues. When Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick of Texas shared Galatians 6:7 shortly after news of the attack spread, when Georgia Representative Rick Allen read Romans 1:18-32 and Revelations 22:18-19, when any of us use Christ’s Word as a battering tool to injure and constrain, we implicitly condone a religious excuse to harm, maim, and slay those whom we pass judgment on. Representative, I urge you to repudiate and condemn in no uncertain terms that bigotry of this kind, to heinously use a religion of peace for the purposes of murder, is thoroughly un-American and has no place in our culture, our nation, or our century.

Please, Representative, hear me and the anguished cries of those fallen and slain in my community. We do not want prayers and thoughts; they do not ease the pain of losing a brother, a teacher, a father, or a husband. We want to ensure that this never happens again for anyone in the United States ever again. Nobody should have to live through the pain of knowing our safe spaces are no longer safe; nobody should have to live through the pain of losing our family to a murderous, bloody rampage. I know you don’t for your family, but I want you to make me feel at home in Virginia so that I can feel as safe as you do.

I thank you for your time in reading this letter, and I hope you and yours are doing well.

 

Reviewing Old Notes and Looking Into Mirrors

It’s been a hell of a time, guys.  But I survived and now I’m back in the game, though it took me a bit to get rolling again.  Commissions and requests for readings are still closed for the time being, but I hope to get going again with those in July; I’ll keep you posted.

In the meantime, after nearly going homeless, finishing closing on a house at the knife-edge nick of time, and dealing with internet connection issues for a month, I’ve been getting myself back in order with my life.  Yeah, I’m definitely relishing in the ability to sink some time back into online gaming now that I’m not stuck on half-available mobile internet, but I’m also talking about the Work and all.  Though…honestly, after several months of stress and letting things shift under my feet, a lot is different than where I was a year, or even half a year ago.  My life seems to be picking up around me and taking me for the ride, which is awesome but a challenge to keep up with.  At least, now that I don’t have the threat of homelessness positioned at my neck anymore, my stress levels have dropped precipitously and I can focus on shit again with renewed clarity.

So, yeah.  I bought a house (rather, me and the boy and our friend did).  I have my shrines set up, some already made permanent and some still waiting permanent relocation; I have my altars set up; and I finally, thank heaven and hell, have my computers in an office with no shrines or altars or holy images in it so I can finally look at porn without giving my People a lewd show.  Now that everything’s set up again, I’ve been easing myself back into practice here and there, making offerings to the ancestors and gods, meditation and energy work, and the like.  But…these are all really tiny bits and pieces of things, maintenance-level stuff, without any real initiative.  These aren’t projects, they’re upkeep.  So I decided to get back into the groove with my mathesis work again after dropping the ball, but…

Jesus, do I feel bad for anyone who has to dig through my blog.  I wrote a lot more back in 2014 than I thought.  At least my notes are copious, and they’re helping me to remember who I was and what I was doing back then.  It’s pleasant, though, and long overdue.  Mathesis is something I’ve wanted to keep up, given its novelty and promise that it holds to afford a new way to proceed in theurgy in addition to or instead of the Hermetic Qabbalah.

alchemical_planetary_tetractys_gnosis_paths

So, where was I with this mathesis stuff?

  1. I developed a “cosmic map” using the Tetractys of Pythagoras, augmented with alchemical and astrological concepts to form a set of 10 sphairai and 24 odoi, one for each of the 24 letters of the Greek alphabet, based on their stoicheic principles.
  2. I developed the Gnostic and Agnostic Schemata to act as two ways one can live life theurgically or atheurgically.
  3. I developed a method for self-initiation onto the Gnostic Schema, and did it.  (The process left a faint but permanent stain on the ceiling of the room in my old house from all the incense.)
  4. I developed a set of protocols for purification, making offerings, and simple meditations on the letters of the Greek alphabet and the Tetractys.
  5. I developed a set of daily practices, but this needs review badly to see what works and how it can be made to work better.

It’s certainly a good start, and it being my baby, it’s what I’m proud of.  But it’s just only a start, and it’s time to get back into the review of everything I wrote before and see how well it stands now, and how well it can continue to stand.

First things first.  What’s the point of using this map of the Tetractys?  What did it get me?  Well, it got me the Gnosis and Agnosis Schemata, the ways of traversing the cosmos in a way that, respectively, provides intimate knowledge of all things in a dangerous but constantly evolving way, or locks one into a cyclical existence that holds one apart and isolated from true knowledge.

Moreso than the Lightning Path of the Tree of Life, the Gnosis Schema of the Tetractys suggests that exploration and constant return is a crucial aspect to this mathesis work.  Sure, there are plenty of ways you can make a one-shot path starting at one sphaira and ending at another while passing through all the others along the way, but the Gnosis Path with its Mitsubishi-logo-esque shape is something of a different beast entirely.  We start at the central sphaira, given to Mercury, and proceed outwards in three loops: the Hot System of Mercury → Jupiter  → Mars → Sun → Mercury, the Cold System of Mercury → Moon → Saturn → Venus → Mercury, and the Cosmic System of Mercury → Fixed Stars → The One → Earth.  The Hot System leads into the Cold System, the Cold into the Cosmic, and the Cosmic into the Hot.  In this way, a full traversal of the Tetractys takes twelve steps, since we arrive in the sphaira of Mercury three times, once at the beginning of each system before we take our thirteenth and final step back into the sphaira of Mercury after the Cosmic System.  A full traversal of a single system takes five steps across four sphairai, starting and ending at the same sphaira of Mercury.

Thus does this Tetractys divide up the whole of the universe into three “realms”, one hot and light and transformative, one cold and dark and preserving, and one balanced and cumulative and whole.  Within each system, we undergo a process of analysis (literally “loosening up”) and synthesis (“putting together”), as we begin at the sphaira of Mercury, work our way out to the extreme sphaira, then work our way back inward to Mercury once more.  Each system reflects a complete alchemical process, and the three systems combined reflect the entire Great Work, the Magnum Opus.  That said, just because we complete one full loop around the Tetractys doesn’t mean we’re done with the whole thing; it’s an explicitly iterative, repetitive process, but each time around is never the same.

Consider this another way: to go from the Monad to the Decad, we simply count the numbers from 1 to 10.  Trivial, right?  So it is in Greek numerals, where we go from Α (alpha = 1) to Ι (iota = 10).  What comes next?  the next letter is Κ (kappa), which is given the value of 20.  Thus, to use the Greek alphabet as numerals, we go from 1 to 9, then from 10 to 90, then from 100 to 900.  Even using numerology, though, 100 and 10 are simply higher “registers” with a core “heart” of 1.  In other words, even if we go from 1 to 9, 10 to 90, 100 to 900, 1000 to 9000, or however many more powers of ten we want to use, we’re still going around the same cycle over and over.  That cycle is the progression from the Monad to the Decad, but since the Decad is just a higher register of the Monad, we’re starting the process anew each time we complete it.

The Gnosis Schema suggests…nay, demands that we constantly keep in motion around the Tetractys in this way.  We never stop, except to process according to analysis and synthesis (or, to use the more standard alchemical phrase, solve et coagula), which themselves take place along the path.  As the philosopher Heraclitus says, παντα ρει, “everything flows“.  Moreover, as energy in the body or waters in a river, it is good for us to flow ever onward, directly and smoothly, never breaking course or getting stopped or split.  This is why the Gnosis Schema is preferred to the Agnosis Schema; not only does the Agnosis Schema cut one off from the three extreme and one central sphairai, but the paths in this schema cycle around in multiple, chaotic, and confusing ways.  Sure, you might always be in motion, but you’d be in erratic motion, bumping into sphairai randomly without guidance, swept along by the whimsy of fate and the gods with no say in your own growth.

I may have performed the work to open the gate to cross into the sphaira of Mercury, but this is only one step along the path, and it itself is not without its dangers.  The sphaira of Mercury can act as a bridge, but it can also act as island, and the process of getting to even this sphaira can be akin to crossing an abyss of sorts.  Maybe the whole string of nonsense that’s gone on since that self-initiation has been following the path of the Gnosis Schema and the resulting BS in my life my own analysis and synthesis among the sphairai, maybe not (which is the more likely of the two).  Either way, it’s about time for me to revisit my place in the Tetractys, and to get back to that center sphaira and start taking the steps I should’ve been taking this whole time.

Also, perhaps in the process of all this, maybe it’s good to come up with names for the sphairai besides saying things like “sphaira of Mercury” or “the Tetrad” or whatnot.  It’s a little odd to refer to them specifically as astrological spheres or alchemical states of being, despite that they work for now.  Perhaps it’s time for me to revisit the meanings of each of the numbers from the Monad to the Decad, and see where that leads me.