Just a Passing Fracas

The other night I had a vision. On a whim, I asked to be shown how this world ends. Hey, I was feeling comfortably nihilistic, and who doesn’t succumb to a little morbid curiosity now and then?

I was expecting to see a burst of nuclear fire, a giant rock hurtling through space on a collision course with our doomed planet, maybe some giant tentacles flopping around from the murky depths. Something cool. Something so big and so far beyond the control of all us “little guys” that when the end comes, we wouldn’t have anything left to do but gape at it in horror.

That’s not what I saw.

What I saw was an immense throng of two-dimensional, minimalist human forms, like paper dolls. Hundreds of thousands of people crowded together on a great, vast, dusty plane. Some were colored bright red, others bright blue, all of them engaged in a terrible battle with each other. It didn’t seem to matter to them what color they were; every individual seemed to have pitted themselves against every other individual. Maybe there were two sides at one time, with alliances and coordinated efforts, but from where I was watching, it was just everyone for themselves against everyone else. Reds vs. blues. Blues vs. blues. Reds vs. reds.

They were all just SO MAD.

I watched the crowd moving en masse, creeping its slow way across the desert. And there, at the “end of the world,” I saw the cliff over which they were throwing each other.

SO desperately ANGRY, each one trying to pummel everyone around them and toss as many as over the edge as they could before they themselves got tossed.

There were some other people in the scene, too, though. They were of the same basic shape, but colored purple or gray. There weren’t very many of them. They all seemed to be by themselves floating above the chaos, a loose group composed of solitary units, watching the endless waves of frothing anger pass beneath toward the precipice of the falls. I felt as though the purples-and-grays were just biding their time, waiting for the dust to settle. They seemed to accept that this self-selective apocalypse was part of a naturally recurring pattern in their reality, Their world wasn’t ending; some parts of it were just purging themselves.

So–what, exactly, does it mean to be human, and what the fuck are we doing? Are we our own worst natural disaster, driving ourselves to extinction with anger and fear and the ego’s irresistible need to protect itself from any challenge, however small? The need to be RIGHT even when we’re wrong? Is there anything we coulda-shoulda-woulda be doing to change things, or is the craziness of our times just part of a greater order that knows how to take care of itself? If so, how many among us might be capable of patiently rising above, and once the excitement is over, resuming…whatever else there is to do and be?

Like many of my visions and dreams, this one gave me a few new metaphors to play with, but no clear answers.

Watching the Pot

Tuesday: “Am I going to get a new job?”
Friday: “Anything new happening with my career?”
Sunday: “…what about now?”
Monday: “…what about now?”

watched-pot

Sometimes people want to get multiple readings to keep tabs on a situation. This is a good idea when there’s a lot going on and the balance changes quickly from one day to the next. But often it’s just a waiting game, and I’ve noticed something interesting happens when we ask the same question over and over again: either the readings become really, really repetitive, or they stop making sense entirely.

If we’re using astrology, the planets’ courses aren’t going to suddenly shift. That Jupiter transit that I told you about last week is still doing the exact same thing, right on schedule. I promise. But even randomly-shuffled tarot cards tend to get weird when we ask a question more than once–the same cards start coming up, in the same positions. Or we get different cards that are so all over the board, there’s no way to see how their story is remotely related to your question.

You know how some nights you’ll open the refrigerator several times, just to see if anything new is in there since the last time you looked? Multiple readings for the same question are like that. We might see that the cheese just moved to another shelf or that you should probably throw that tomato away, but if you don’t get up and go to the grocery store, don’t expect a spontaneous cheesecake manifestation.

Whatever comes across in the first session is usually what you need to know. We can keep digging for more details and new perspectives, but there comes a point where we’ve seen all that we’re going to see and it’s on you to deal with the situation and either just be patient if you can’t control it, or make something happen if you can.

I love repeat business, but you don’t want to pay for the same reading twice!

Polaris: Anchor, Lighthouse, and Other Nautically Cosmic Metaphors

Every night I spend a few minutes staring up at Polaris, whether I can see it or not. It’s my favorite star.

Polaris doesn’t move. Sailors used to navigate by the “North Star,” and I see it as a spiritual beacon as well. It’s become an important symbol in my own personal mythology.

Hey, I’m going to go out for a smoke now, in fact. Come with me. Come look at this.

Everything else in the sky that I can see from my hemisphere is spinning around and around and around and it never stops, while Polaris just sits quietly up there in one spot* like a tranced out Ascended Master, or the finite center point of an infinite spiral. When my life feels like it’s going haywire (which is pretty much par for the course), I always know where Polaris is. Even on a cloudy night. Even in the daytime.

I associate Polaris with the Archetypes: big ideas that have become entrenched in our collective consciousness and don’t change. The concepts represented by the gods and goddesses, heroes, villains, standard stock character types, monsters, and the stories about all of them that just keep re-appearing in many different forms throughout the history of all Earth’s cultures. Archetypes are the examples we’ve created which, in turn, create us by showing us how to shape our lives.

Mathematics. The laws of Physics (including the ones we don’t know about yet). The philosophical debates around our most basic questions. The perfect Platonic Ideals conceived by imperfect slices of consciousness.

The core tenet of so many religious beliefs: “Don’t be a dick.”

If we ever get to meet people from other planets (when, dammit, I mean when), I bet we’ll find common ground when we start comparing our species’ oldest questions and the stories we tell as we to try to answer them. I like believing that these things are universal and unchanging.

This might sound weird coming from a self-proclaimed Chaos mage. I understand that events and time are all random and fluid from the human perspective. It feels like we’re swept every which way by who-knows-what kind of cross-dimensional cosmic tides and our lives are subject to incomprehensible coincidental fields. I just appreciate being able to look up while trying to sail through the midst of this whole mess and knowing there’s something tangible that I can rely on: a little point of light that’s always there*. We just have to keep going that-a-way and we won’t get lost.


*Yes, I know the Earth wobbles a little on its axis, and I know that someday Polaris will be gone. But I’ve just given it Archetypal status, so it’s officially part of the stories, and it’s not really going anywhere ever now, is it, Smarty-pants?


 

Professional Guess-Work

Every couple-three nights, I get inspired to do a “Cold Reading.” What is this, exactly?

I pull some tarot cards or a Somniscript glyph or listen to what my invisible friends are telling me, and I post it. I have no idea who the reading is for. Invariably, a few people will respond: “Oh my god, you’re talking about ME!”

Of course I am! If what I pull out of the aether has to do with you, then YES I’m talking about you! If it helps, so much the better. I like to help. I am Helpy McHelperton.

Make no mistake, though. There are plenty of so-called “psychics” who have a dubious talent for making people believe that they receive very specific messages from beyond from loved ones who have passed through the veil, or Angels who have an urgent message, or other such claptrap. This is real Cold Reading, and I hope YOU’VE never fallen for it.

(To be honest, my own Angels usually get in touch to send pictures of each other photo-bombing in the garden in my home dimension, or to let me know what they had for dinner, or to report on who’s poking whom in the ear.)

What I and my esteemed colleagues do (as opposed to the un-esteemed ones) is glorified counseling. It’s still “magic” — this takes nothing away from the metaphysical mysteries of assisting another soul to navigate through life. Hey, I’ve seen astrology charts and tarot readings that simply cannot be explained away by coincidence or gullibility. This stuff works.

But it takes work, too, on both sides. Are you desperately trying to contact someone in another dimension? Well, I probably don’t know that person. Chances are, I wouldn’t be able to recognize them from a bowl of Mac & Cheez in all that ectoplasm out there. Neither can Mr. or Ms. Super TV Psychic Friend. (This falls under the “If It’s Too Good to be True…” law.)

You know who CAN reach them, though?

That’s right. You. You know them. You have a connection with them. You share memories, emotions, dreams. We’re all “psychic,” in a sense, and you don’t need a courier. You just need to know how to freakin’ LISTEN.

Now I want Mac & Cheez. Dammit.

Dear Angels, please send me pictures of Mac & Cheez.

Looking for Life in All the Wrong Places

whorl01Many of my clients’ questions can be boiled down to one simple problem:

SOMETHING’S MISSING.

Their lives may be going just fine, or their lives may truly be a mess, but almost everyone comes to me with some variation of “Why am I not happy? How can I make my life perfect? WHAT’S MISSING?”

(Spoiler alert: This post isn’t going to answer that.)

Let’s start with the first part of that question: Why aren’t you happy?

1. Insert standard rant about how advertisements are designed to induce anxiety in the viewers.

2. Insert standard rant about how modern cultural ideals instill ridiculous expectations of what “happy” looks like.

3. Insert standard rant about how all your friends on social media seem to be doing better than you.

There’s plenty of material already written about these points, so I don’t need to add much to it. Note that they all have one thing in common, though: comparison. Instead of focusing on your own life, you’re dissecting everyone else’s…and keeping score. We’re conditioned to look outside of ourselves for the definition of “happy,” and to hold our own lives up to the fabricated examples we’re shown.

No wonder you’re anxiety-ridden and spiritually exhausted — the constant suspicion that you’re losing some kind of unspoken, endless competition would drag anyone down before too long.

Still. You know, on a logical level, that perfection is unattainable. GOD DAMMIT, you KNOW this. Yet there’s always that nagging feeling that everything could somehow be better if you just do… or look like… or get the attention of…

So, say you do the thing, and you look like the thing, and you get the attention of the thing. Does the nagging feeling shut up? Is life perfect? ARE YOU HAPPY NOW?

Chorus: NOOOOOOOOOOO!

Because something’s still missing, isn’t it? But if it wasn’t the one thing and the other thing and the other thing, then what, what, what, for the love of “Bob,” WHAT IS IT?

Pay attention: PROFUNDITY AHEAD

That indefinable yearning to define and acquire the something which will finally, once and for all, plug the godawful black hole in your soul — that horrible ABSENCE is, in fact, the very thing you’re looking for.

Other people are not going to dig you out of this pit. Not even if they want to. Not your spouse, not your friends, not your family. No one. They’ve all got their own empty pits they’re working on, anyway. No, you do something about it. That wonderful emptiness is yours alone, and no one else is going to chase it away or come to terms with it for you. You’re not their problem.

Besides, this missing thing keeps you going. If you get everything you want, why bother doing anything else? Why keep trying when there’s nothing more to gain? Perfection means STOP. The story is over and the book closes.

Yes, this is hard, and it often sucks. Life is wanting and needing and searching. Sometimes it’s also winning, or losing, but always, always, always, there’s something more to be accomplished. If you insist on separating the drive and the result — something you can grab and own, something you can point to and measure and define in terms of external standards — your life will be a long, sad, wild goose chase, because that definition is going to change all the time.

The problem is not the missing thing. The problem is the idea that it’s a problem. Anything you can gain, you can lose. Luckily, you’ll always have that sense of incompleteness that keeps spurring you on to the next level.

Learn to love that missing piece. It’s as much a part of who you are as all the blanks you’ve already filled in.

My Spirit Guide said to turn left at the Dairy Queen (and they were wrong)

Oooooh, Spirit Guides (insert tinkly music)! Ultra-cosmic beings of serenity and wisdom, totally dedicated to your personal well-being. They tell you what you’re supposed to be doing with your life, right? They interpret your dreams, they tell you who not to marry, they assure you that you’re descended from someone cool like Genghis Khan or Patience Eggslap, and if you get a good one, they help you find your damn keys.

Well, your spirit guides (insert tinkly music), maybe. Mine spend a lot of time transmitting their wrestling matches over the last piece of bacon and trying to blame a variety of noises and smells on each other. I know who turned who’s laundry pink and who burned the noodles.

They’ve also kept me going all these years — just like friends tend to do.

My spirit guides (insert tinkly music) and I guide each other. We do all right, so far. They don’t know how to deal with the mysteries of existence any better than I do. (In fact, some insist that “shooting it” is a viable option.) They’re not wiser, or more holy, or even better at canasta than you or I; they’re just people, from a different plane of existence.

And when I think about it, that’s really the most important thing I ever needed to know about the esoteric state of the universe. As long as I know there is something else out there (or in here…is there a difference?), I don’t need it justified. Everything else becomes academic. Maybe I can figure that part out myself. Maybe I don’t need to. My “spirit guides” (insert tinkly music) and I are figuring it out together…but I suspect that the fact that we’ve connected at all is the only secret that ever needed to be discovered. Once that’s taken care of, the rest just falls into place.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I believe there’s a big towel fight in the kitchen.

Wait, who’s got my damn keys?

(insert tinkly music)

Happily Never After

One of the questions I tend to see the most in my work as a Tarot reader is some variation of “When are all my problems going to go away so that I can live the life I want without ever having to worry about anything, ever again?” This usually includes a couple of sub-clauses, like “When will I meet my perfect soul mate who will fulfill all of my romantic dreams and make my fantasies come true 24 hours a day?” and “When will I receive my great big pile of money so that all of my debt and other financial problems disappear forever and I can buy a big house and everything else I’ve ever wanted?”

So let me get this straight: your life isn’t perfect yet, and that pisses you right off. You’re sick of waiting for that worry-free existence to which everyone is entitled, regardless of how many mistakes you’ve made or what’s been distracting you from working on creating your own destiny.

Because, by god, just look around! Everyone else’s life is perfect. There’s obviously been a mistake. You just got missed somehow, and you want to know when Karma is going to wake up, apologize profusely, and shower you with money and candy and sexy glitter.

Of course. That’s exactly how life works. One of these days, it’s all gonna dump that goodness right in your lap, and you won’t have to do a thing. You’ve suffered enough! You deserve this.

It’s just gotta happen like that.

Right?

Any day now.

Yep.

Time Isn’t Real

So it hasn’t really been a year since my last post, no it hasn’t!

Has it?

It feels like about a day. Or two. Maybe a week, at most. But other facets of life get in the way of our good intentions and I started at the University and kind of had homework to do… but it’s almost summer now, and I’m back. The Gates of Grimagix have been thrown open once again.

Life pulses, doesn’t it? I just spent the past six or eight months withdrawn from most of the world. I buried myself in studying and hating most of my art classes (love art, hate anyone telling me what to think about it) and studying some more and generally shutting myself inside myself. Guess what I found in there?

Myself!

(As well as a few others — welcome aboard, new guys).

I’m ready to breathe out again.

I Hope Karma Has a Chainsaw



From the James Randi Educational Foundation:

Yet Another Sylvia Browne Fiasco
“Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michele Knight – three women who went missing over a decade ago and were presumed dead – have been found to be alive…in 2004, on the totally irresponsible Montel Williams Show, “psychic” Sylvia Browne told Amanda Berry’s mom that her daughter was dead…”
FULL STORY


I do tarot readings and other “psychic/magic” stuff. It’s fun, and I’m told that I’m really good at it. However, I would NEVER, EVER make claims like these TV celebrity psychics do, and I would certainly not tell a desperate mother that her lost child was dead OR alive unless I’d seen them with my own physical eyes.

I’m not saying that some people don’t have a “sense” that gives them this kind of information, but I’m not saying anyone definitely does, either. While I’ve worked with plenty of other occultists who can do some neat things, I’ve never knowingly met anyone with the kind of power like Sylvia Browne and her ilk claim to have.

I believe that magic is real (but I won’t try to convince you if you don’t, so this isn’t the place to argue that point), but I’d rather study, practice, mix it with science and try to discover how it really works (or doesn’t work) than contribute to this kind of bullshit.

It’s shameful how criminals can ruin a fun, interesting thing while making a fortune on others’ pain and gullibility.