Monday, October 3, 2011

Forgetting Human, pt 3 (guest post by Robin Artisson)

Part III:
The Amnesia Ploy and the Game of Power
-The Awful Truth
-Lose your Mind, Regain your Senses
-They Leap for My Soul
-What Her Other Voice Said to Me
-Rediscovering Spirit in the Lost World
-The Master of Spirits and the Magistellus

"There must be some kind of way out of here,"
Said the joker to the thief-
"There's too much confusion;
I can't get no relief…”

“No reason to get excited,"
The thief, he kindly spoke-
"There are many here among us
Who feel that life is but a joke;
But you and I, we've been through that,
And this is not our fate
So let us not talk falsely now, the hour is getting late."

-Jimmy Hendrix, “All Along the Watchtower”

The Awful Truth

It is night now, and I was just outside again, under my familiar trees, and a wind blew through, manifesting itself as these wind-persons do. This wind-soul being was a singer, singing of the darkest and richest things that live in the reality of the soul. In my own soul’s experience of it, I felt afraid, a little- the awe-inspiring fear you sometimes get when something or someone of great power and wisdom comes too near you.

The word “awful” actually means precisely that- “awe-full”, or full of awe; the “awful truth” of the wind is the awe-inspiring truth about where our Ancestral ghosts and Gods really are, and where they still dwell. That wind-person went silent and vanished suddenly, and I knew that it was reminding me about why I’m writing the words here, and thanking me for reminding myself and others about what exists within the soul, and in the wind and sky.

The powers that live and exist alongside us want to be known by us. I don’t know why; but I can guess several things. Firstly, they are kin to us, ultimately, as we are all born from the same origin- this mighty and sacred Nature that appears to surround us, but is also within us. Also, our destinies are completely entwined with the sacred beings seen or unseen. Those two reasons are enough; but it also reminds me to say what must be said when we talk about the other-than-human populations of sentient life: they are living their lives, and we are living out ours, all of us in our own Fateful and Fated duration.

We humans are not the “pet projects” of the Gods or spirits; they don’t exist to stop our tragedies or change the things in our world that we don’t like. The Ancients knew this well enough. What we can gain from interaction, from “spectral intercourse” with the unseen, is wisdom, and that is treasure enough- and power enough to seemingly change the things about ourselves and our world that our souls long to change. Some powerful spirits (even ones called “Gods” by our Ancestors) have, at rare times in what we call our “history”, entered directly into the dimension of human life and changed things, tilted the outflowing of our world, gave us gifts, changed the course of human life forever. Why they did it is anyone’s guess, but our history, our bodies, and our minds bear the marks of their ancient passage.

For years, that was what I longed for- conversation with the unseen, with non-human persons and powers. It didn’t take me long to realize that another conversation was blocking me- the ongoing and maniacal dialogue of thought that filled my head, and leaped wildly from one thought to another, one concern to another, one word to another word. My habit of living in my thoughts, and not consciously living in the actual world that my thoughts were only a tiny part of, had become a fungus that grew and overtook my mind and life.

Words and thoughts and concepts came between me and what I wanted and needed so much.  I begged the Unseen to not be silent, to not evade me, to reveal itself to me, but now I know that its silence came from only one place- the fact that all my begging was just me begging my own confusion for something it could never give me.

I finally came up with a way around this ominously subtle and pervasive problem- a trick, really, but a sorcerous trick.  It was my familiar spirit, granted to me on the windy power of the Master of Spirits, which appears sometimes as a woman, and at other times as an owl, who taught me this technique; and this very tactic ended up being the “straw that broke the back” of this beast. And it had nothing to do with literally “going around” anything, but plunging into the center of something- the center of reality itself. And what is reality? Reality is what is happening to you at this very sensory moment, in all your senses.

You don’t have to gain something special to use this cunning bit of sorcery; you have to lose something- you have to lose, just for a while, your memory of your language.

Most people laugh when I say this- and write it off instantly as impossible. But as I have well learned, it is not impossible, and in fact, it even becomes easy if you stick with the technique, and it becomes easy in a surprisingly short amount of time. There is a reason why it should; the most profound level of your mind is geared for this already.

When you were born, you had no language. In a non-verbal way, you experienced reality directly, in a direct and uncensored sensory manner, while you were a baby and a very young child. This was how you experienced, fully, every day, up until the time your cognitive-linguistic matrix was imprinted into your mind through the absorption of enough experience of others using language, and the encouragement of your first language teachers. 

But the deepest layer of you, previous to that, is non-verbal, and certainly non-alphabetic, and fully sensitive to the sensory world precisely as the world exists. The deepest layer of you has no “filter” of words, either spoken or written; it only has pure sensory clarity. This is the true “sorcerous sensorium”- the chamber within your mind and soul where mysteries are unveiled and beheld naked and free of adulteration. It is the psychic sanctum where the unspeakable things (those things which can never be captured with words) are shown and known in a non-conceptual way. It is a forest and a vault of stars within us.

And this “deepest layer” can be drawn to the surface by the technique I have come to call, after all these years, the “Amnesia play”, or, more humorously, the “Amnesia ploy.” Bear in mind that the main “inhibiting factor” of our cultural programming which leads to our habitual spiritual blindness isn’t the spoken word, but the written word and the ghostly abstractions of mind that it creates- however, this technique cuts to the deepest places, before both kinds of language. In a direct way, it takes you back to the origins of your mind.

Lose your Mind, Regain your Senses

Go to an outdoors location where you can really be alone. This can mean your backyard, if you have one, and if you have a reasonable expectation of privacy there, without distractions. Or, it can mean the lonely corner of a park, or just the wilderness in whatever capacity you can reach it. As you develop in your ability to use this technique, you’ll be able to use it anywhere. But start in seclusion, and outdoors.

To utilize this technique, you will need to start with your imagination- the imagination being, after all, the aura cast by the deepest divinely inspired core that glows at our centers, and in the “center” of every iota of flesh or dirt or stone or wood. That same ember radiates, subtle and unseen, from the core of every iota of water or fire, and is fanned bright by the wind from the “bellows of the smith”- Old Quayin himself, the spirit Heth, or the spirit-artificer whose mysterious relationship to human creativity must be spoken of later. That bellows- a device that makes wind- is also the breath in us, and in the world. Shortly put, the divine creativity is not apart from the human creativity. The imagination is not a pool of “made up” delusions or dreams, but a capacity for creation.

You must focus the power of your imagination, your capacity to create new realities, and invoke a scenario in which you can truly immerse yourself in a special kind of fantasy, a very believable fantasy in which you imagine yourself to be the victim of a very powerful amnesia. You have to let yourself slip into the role, suspending your disbelief and letting this imagination come to life. Few of us have a very hard time suspending our disbelief when we get absorbed into a two-hour long movie; we can let movies- even very improbable ones like silly horrors or flashy fantasies- take on a reality in our heads, for the purposes of absorbing ourselves in them and enjoying them; this is far, far easier.

When you find yourself in a good, safe, and secluded outdoors place, sit down (if you can) and close your eyes. Take a steady, calming breath, and prepare yourself to imagine that, when you open your eyes, you are coming out of a coma, or just coming back to consciousness after being unconscious for an indeterminate while. In this imagination exercise, you don’t know who you are, because you have full and total amnesia- you don’t know who you are, where you are, nor do you remember what language you speak. If English is your primary language, then for the duration of this technique, you cannot think in English, nor speak in it. Try to avoid any place that has signs- seeing English words (or spelled out words) will make this difficult.

To make this work, you really have to slip into the role, and accept it fully- really let yourself, for just three or four minutes, really believe it. Go as far into belief as you can.

Now, look around. Just look at your surroundings. Remember- you can’t do anything but look, and hear, and smell, and feel, and touch. If an oak tree is near you, or right in front of you, one of the likely first reactions you’ll have will be to think “oak tree” when you see it- but if you catch yourself doing this (and everyone does it a lot in the beginning, without even meaning to) simply remember that you can’t be thinking “oak tree” because you don’t remember speaking any language, and thus, you can’t think in that language. You’ll have to remember this a few times before your mind finally concedes and “goes along” with the imaginative exercise.

What you are really doing is using force- the subtle and fluid force of imagination- against the calcified and habitual mind of concepts. It seems like it would be impossible, when you just think about doing it, but actually trying to do it proves that it is easier than first thought.

Now, here’s what I discovered in my many attempts at this tactic. I discovered that, once I really slipped into the role of the amnesiac, my senses suddenly became more powerful and vivid- they seemed to reach out and grasp the world in a strong new way, and I seemed to be “seeing” things again for the first time- like the trees, for instance. They seemed “closer” to me somehow, more vivid, different- I was having a “pure seeing” experience, and my eyes were really examining the forms of the trees quite intently, and no words or labels were being automatically generated in my mind to stop the intensity of the exploration. I was fully open to the trees, the sounds, the grasses, the birds I saw- I was filling them all with such an intensity of alertness, a depth of looking and hearing, that I felt tremendous power, tremendous force in it.

And those things- those birds, trees, grasses, sounds- they “came to me” too- my eyes and ears didn’t just “go to them” or “capture them”- they came to me. Each one seemed to be “presenting itself” to my senses, strongly. I saw that this whole process isn’t what we think- it isn’t a “linear” process, in which your senses “go out there” to capture things that passively wait- instead, all things move into one another simultaneously, and intensify themselves within one another.

Why this great simultaneous intensity of knowing all things within all things? Because you are not isolated off from this world- you are fully drenched in it, and fully a part of it. Nothing is simple and linear, but mixed and full and spiraling, circular, whole. I became lost in the tangle of the senses and the world; my whole mind became the green world around me, and I began to experience something even more amazing, which I will write more about in a moment.

Should you ever find yourself in such a situation as this amnesia scenario sets up, truly lost in the world without memory,  your senses would rally to try to explore your world immediately, trying to make sense of it, trying to figure out what’s going on, and trying to figure out if there’s any danger here. You would be very curious, without the words to frame that curiosity or scaffold it- you would become a sensory explorer, immediately in tune with the environment in a very profound way. The deep parts of you, the hyper-alert animal senses, the bodily organism in tune with its entire environment, all would emerge fully to guide you through the situation.

You are forced by this technique to really see and experience the world, and not to fall back on “thinking” in a linguistic way about the world. Your internal, analytical dialogue is silenced, and only your senses remain to inform you. As your senses really sharpen and open up, you discover the “piercing gaze” of the Witch- the first taste of the Sorcery of the Senses which I will expand upon more later. That old hagtessa who was feared in the past for her disturbing eyes, her burning gaze, gives us a folkloric manifestation of the sorceress who was able to really see- and she missed nothing. You will discover that when you really look, more than just ordinary sight begins to rise up in you.

And with luck, this is what you will be able to accomplish using this technique. But you will simultaneously be accomplishing much more. Because when you really “see” purely, or hear the birds and wind suddenly very purely, without the conceptual mind to categorize it all away with words for you, something subtle, and then later forceful and dramatic begins to happen- something beyond your new vividness of the senses.

The true core tradition that stands behind all Sorcery is found in the senses and the use of the senses. And this tradition is full of two things in abundance- ironically, it is full of subtlety; ironic that such a sense-bound and tangible Art should also deal with subtlety, but it does. The depths of the senses are the gateway to real subtlety.

And this Art is bound up with paradoxes- the “fair is foul and foul is fair” paradoxes that the Bard himself once gave voice to. Using this technique, you are literally forgetting everything to remember more- to “re-member”, to put the members of another body back together again, the body of the sorcerous clarity of the sense-animal that you are. You are losing your mind, literally; you are losing the conceptual mind, and thereby regaining your senses. Forgetting is remembering; loss is gain.

And now, you are delivered to the core of the sorcery that I’ve woven into these words you’re reading now- because using the written word, the very thing that helps to create a mind that can’t experience sorcerous reality, I have undone the power of the written word. Turning the power of words against themselves, I have used words to show you a way beyond words, written or otherwise. Sorcerous Irony!

They Leap for My Soul

What follows is a private journal entry that I created the day after I had my first very powerful “breakthrough” with the “Amnesia ploy.” I put it here to illustrate a few of the themes that emerged for me, and which can emerge for any who engage the technique thoroughly.

“Sitting there, I felt the presence. Everything was gradually then suddenly filled with a stark, dark, and deep living presence- both as a whole, and in each tree, and even in a stone I carried outside with me. And “my” animals? My two dogs? They were leaping against my legs as usual trying to get up on me, and for the first time, that didn't annoy me or bother me at all- because I knew now what they were leaping for. I saw their souls. I communicated with their souls and the world-presence without words, just at my heart level.

The dogs were leaping at my soul. They don't see the "human". They only saw my soul, and they only show their souls- they have no words, like we do, to come between them and the presence, between them and their souls: what they show, how they act, how they live, that's their souls. We humans, living in our thoughts and not in our senses and souls, we don't sense our souls, and so we experience the dogs as nothing but humans looking down on animals.

But this time, it was different- I realized that what the dogs were delighted to see in me, and what they were trying to get close to, was my soul. They don't have any conception that I am white, brown eyed, a therapist, a father, a son, a centrist, a sorcerer, an animist- none of that. They don't see it; they don't have the power to. They experience me as a soul, a power, a natural power, sprung like they are from this massive presence. They show their souls, freely and honestly- they can't do anything else. These "animals" are the most honest things, these dogs- they can't contrive some abstraction that takes them away from soul.

It filled me with a joy I cannot describe. It wasn't a dog in my hands; it was a presence, a soul, unique and so full in the moment; a little person, happily trying to share its own presence with mine. It WAS a dog, of course, but not a dog as I had habitually seen before, when I didn't see from the soul perspective.

I felt deep; like I had a new depth. Anything I had thought deep before now seemed shallow by comparison. I felt like this depth couldn't move, and didn't die- that if I died at that moment, I'd stay in this presence, both that of my soul, and the presence of everything around me, and the greater presence that seemed to be deepest of all. I just knew that if I died right then, it wouldn't change much at all. Before, I felt a kind of wonder or uncertainty about death; that just faded away. That weird calmness about it has faded a bit, but if I went outside now, and got "back into" this, I think it would return- the feeling caused by this presence is unmistakable.

I feel like I've encountered my soul for the first time today. It's all in the senses, not in thinking. All those abstractions in our heads are a madness in the head: there is no heaven, hell, judgment, salvation, God, devil, none of that. I could feel and "hear" with my heart, as though a communication was just filling me, that the ancient presence I was feeling was all there was, and the other presences (the trees, the animals, other beings) and my own soul, my own presence (which seems to have some ability to "be with" other presences, just by interpenetrating them, "going into" them) was the totality. 

These presences- the presences concealed by yet fully a part of sky, earth, trees, animals, and the more mysterious things that had no physical representation, but which I could still sense- these are the Gods and they are the only Gods that have ever been, I am sure of this now. And the greater "wholeness presence"- I don't even know what that is; it feels like the power that I called "Fate" before.

That's it. It was like a great joy, a great peace, a great relief. And it all came from giving that "amnesia ploy" another shot, bolstered by my understanding of how words have stopped us from having a real sensory experience, and stuck us all in our heads, in thoughts and abstractions.

I'm just overwhelmed by it. The abstractions born from written words are not truths. They are traps, confusions, living in emptiness, not touching the world and the presence. Our senses are themselves sorcerous connections between us and everything. "We" aren't even what we think we are; we are souls, and this soul is a deep thing, not really a white man or a therapist, or anything like that. Those ideas are just tumbling around in it, but they don't touch it.

From this day forth, I am not using the written word to do anything but unseat and undo and overcome what the written word has done to everyone. My own writings are going to undergo a rather serious change. I don't even want to write much anymore.

I can’t help but say it- this is the way of things. We're all supposed to be here, and what we've done to lose our sense of our own souls and the presence of what can only be described as the sacred wholeness was misuse written language. I feel like I've rediscovered a part of me the size of the ocean, or bigger- like my soul’s been missing all this time. No more tastes! I feel so... loving towards things, my children, my animals... friends... the trees and grass... Even that rock I was holding, when I saw with full sensory experience, with my soul, was a little being, a person, so unique and living, feeling alive in my hands. There is a love inside me, raging and fighting to escape me, like it won’t be satisfied until it has joined the whole world.”

What Her Other Voice Said to Me

I discovered, in the days that followed, that the Amnesia ploy could be used anytime, anywhere. I could “quickly” use it, almost as if I was just tasting it for a few moments, to gain instant insights into subtle things unseen. Of course, I’ve used the technique for a very long time now, and the “small” uses of it are dependent on the “full” use of it, the sessions I put aside daily and nightly, when I let myself slip into the Presence. The more you do it, the better- there is no reason to try and over-structure this into a ‘schedule’. At any time you find yourself walking outside or even sitting in your own home alone, you can slip right into it.

Using the technique, I was able, for the first time, to directly “talk” to the spirit of my own house. A stone that I had taken with me when I came home from Maine (after living there for 8 months) was suddenly, under the influence of this subtle soul-state, able to reveal its own soul to me, and to appear in my hands as a sentient little being, reaching out to communicate directly to my soul.

Part of what you need to remember when you do this is that I’m not talking about using your senses less, but more- it was by gaining this state while holding the rock in my hands, against my body, and gazing at the rock with my fully utilized eyesight, that I was able to “see” the soul of the rock- outwardly, the rock certainly didn’t change shape, but in another way that I cannot explain (and which no one could explain) I “saw” the soul of the thing- it was like the rock suddenly “intensified” in presence, and seemed to swim with life in my hands. That’s the most I can say.

I am a soul-healer by profession. I’m speaking literally as well as figuratively here- I am a psychotherapist, and I work with many people every day and help induce therapeutic transformations in their lives, in the midst of countless terrible problems. But that term I just used to describe me- “psychotherapist”, literally means “soul healer” in Greek. Today, we take it to mean something more like counselor-clinician.  And I am that. But when I gained the power of engaging my soul, and the soul of everything else, I became much more powerful in my “ordinary” profession as well.

Actually, I became dangerous, to put it halfway humorously. I was eager to deepen my engagement with the soul of this world and all the spirits and souls that I could meet, and there are more of these powers in this world than any of us could fathom. I began to realize that this new power could open up new dimensions in my professional therapeutic practice. I knew then how therapy or therapeutic contact could happen without a single word passing between me and my clients- that I could speak soul to soul with them, and create the therapeutic radiance that healed, directly from my soul to theirs.

So, with typical mystical zeal, I went to work and met with a favorite client of mine, someone I already felt pretty comfortable with. In our session that day, while she was talking, I slipped into the “forgetting trance”- and I did it so well that, for a brief moment, her words to me seemed to sound-blur into just noises that I couldn’t understand, but my senses sharpened- I saw details about her skin I hadn’t noticed before, the way bits of her hair waved in the air conditioning inside, and the color of her eyes. And in that depth of extreme focus, it happened- her soul emerged and spoke. It “told” me what it really feared.

The entire time this spectral communication was happening, I was busy behaving to my client just as I ordinarily would- she never saw or felt that I had done, what I had heard or taken from deep inside her. But I told her what her soul said. I didn’t say “Hey, I just talked to your soul and it said such-and-such.” I just told her what I now knew, and she stared wide eyed at me and exclaimed “yes! That’s absolutely right! I wish I could have said it like that myself!”

From that day forward, I always took a bit of time to slide into the soul-level and converse with the deeper aspects of clients, friends, or anyone I was around. Most of the time, I just sat passively learning things that I often decided the person would rather consciously hide. I thought about all the people who are so obsessed with learning to “read minds”, when to be a soul-reader, a soul-talker, is far more powerful.

At my level of attainment, I can boast this: people can lie with their words, but their souls don’t tend to lie. If I am properly prepared, in the subtle state of perception, I can hear words that are concealing lies because the soul of the liar accuses them. However, another sorcerer who has a connection to their soul may be able to mold it into a deceptive aid to their lies- this much is worth mentioning. But the average person running around out there, on the surface of life only? Their souls give them away.

I would like to say a few words about the nature of soul-communication, which I will expand more on in the next section of this treatise. One of the initial stumbling blocks I hit in “soul communication” was the fact that I imagined- wrongly- that the “communication” would happen like a regular conversation, or like words appearing in my head. It doesn’t. If you try to force it to be that, it fails. What a person must do is let go- really let go of the notion that “communication” has to be with words of language, and let the meaning and deep knowledge of what is being exchanged arise in the heart and gut level of the body.

This kind of conversation is so easy, it’s hard- because you want so dearly to take a more active role in the conversation. But it’s easy because all you have to consciously do is stop trying to be a part of the conversation, and let your soul do what it naturally does, and let the other powers communicate directly to your soul as they naturally do. You just let that conceptual mind step aside, confident that the conversation can and will go on without it, and let it happen.

When I started getting “strong” messages, it felt like my body was lighter or heavier suddenly (this is power moving in the soul- it feels bodily sometimes, like tingling in the flesh) or it felt like my face suddenly was tingling or gripped with an intensity- and then, at that moment, I “knew” exactly what I had just been “told”. It didn’t come in words, but in a charge of profound “knowing”. And this was just the beginning- with practice, one realizes that a communication is happening all the time, and not just from “you” to “everything else”- things, beings, persons seen and unseen- are coming to your soul and talking all the time. While most come for reasons that seem either inscrutable or friendly, some don’t come for such good reasons.

On the whole, I must say that we are not surrounded by evil and threats from the unseen world as constantly as some of the panic-mongers in our world say- like Christians, who have, since the beginning, hated the idea of spirits and the unseen world and who demonized them (and it) quickly. The Unseen world is no more dangerous, necessarily, than this world is; and yet, this world is a bit dangerous at times and places, and that remains true in the unseen. And in the same manner that you protect yourself in this world, by letting your intuition guide you away from dangerous-seeming or feeling places, or being careful to only go to familiar places or to explore with care, the same can be said for the unseen. There’s no reason to be needlessly paranoid, except of course, when paranoia is the right response.

Devote a month to what I have written to you here, and you will discover what I discovered. These are keys to an extraordinary experience which works, organically, powerfully, and simply. This is how the soul is found, felt, and how it communicates with everything- even the world-soul itself.

Rediscovering Spirit in the Lost World

With this great door of soul opened, things began to happen rapidly for me. When the soul awakened, the breath awakened- and far from just the rhythmic gasping of life, my breath became a sorcerous power and a bridge to power. The Game of Power had begun for me, a game played out in feelings and in relationships with beings seen and unseen. Now that I was aware of them, they knew it- and began to change in how they interacted with me.

A person who gains access to new ranges of subtle awareness- not any awareness divorced from the physical body and senses, but fully rooted in them, intensified in them, begins to live in the soul, to encounter the living, airy, rushing presence of the soul. This is our reality; this is the treasure so powerfully apparent and with us all the days of our lives- and the thing that nearly all of us don’t directly experience. When you do experience it, a new life really begins; it is a genuine initiation, a “rebirth” from one perspective. Many people have their doubts about it because they can’t believe that such a legendary treasure, and such a key and root of real power, can be so “easy” or so close, or so simple.

This is a consequence of how we have been taught- by the abstraction mongers- to believe that “true” spiritual attainments are always “high” achievements, complex achievements, or difficult achievements. Few people these days, obsessed as we are by illusions of grandiosity, can understand that the best achievement of all is hiding in plain sight, in plain feeling, and is (in reality) very simple. Part of us already knows it- we love to point out how the simplest pleasures are the best, or how easy it would be to have a simple life; we intuitively know that the over-complexities that define our modern world are problematic and filled with anxiety. Deep inside, without knowing how we know, we are aware that simplicity and the truth are hand-in-hand, and we long for it, a simpler, cleaner, easier way of being.

Our obsessions with over-complexity lead us to the final test- the effort to overcome our mental addiction to what “spiritual achievements” must really be like. The conceptual mind that fantasizes about grand ascensions and exploding arrays of color, vision, and complex understandings occurring when a person “makes it” to the truth, must give way to the mind of the senses, and all its peace, simplicity, and calmness- all of the depths that we have longed for, and not the distant “heavens” of hallucinatory abstraction.

And in those simple but profound depths, we begin to meet with, and start to converse with, the Ancestral powers. They begin to make us remember what was lost when the wisdom of the land and the wisdom of the senses was lost.

Many modern Pagans and people calling themselves “witches” have an enormous focus on the notion of the feminine divine. The “Goddess” of Wicca went on to define, for many, the re-emerging hope for a more earthy and sensuous experience of what we call the “spiritual”. The great “Goddess” ideas that so many people worship tend to quickly fall into a trap of near-monotheism, as well as fall into some of the same errors of abstraction and metaphysical complexity that originally destroyed the true old ways. But these “goddess” worshipers are onto something real, without understanding how.

While there is more than one “Goddess” out there, the ideal of the feminine divine, or the physical world (the earth) and the Unseen world being experienced in primarily feminine terms, is based in a very old reality. All that I have been talking about in this treatise is grounded in the feminine. The idea of the sensual body, the bodily senses, the return to a condition of mind which is directly in touch with the tangible world, and the feelings and the soul, all of it is part of a “primary mode” of being which is both ancient, and aligned to the intuitive and feminine aspects of our nature.

The Earth isn’t just a ball of rock; it is, in fact, the body of a Goddess. We would be foolish to assume that this “Earth Mother”, known in every Pagan culture extant, is the only Goddess out there, or just one more manifestation of a supreme feminine force, but that’s another matter.

We are dealing with the mysteries of earth, and flesh, and feelings, and senses, and intuition- all feminine powers. The forces that stole us from these things- the abstracting minds and powers that turned us away from the senses, away from nature, are in fact considered by most occultists to be “masculine” qualities, and the philosophies born of these hallucinations and abstractions are the masculine-centered monotheisms that we all know and loathe so well.

Coming back to the senses and the body is a return to the true and well-hidden (but fundamental) “Goddess spirituality” sought by so many. It may be easier, and more accurate to say “earth spirituality” or “land-based spirituality” or even “sensual spirituality” than to say “Goddess spirituality”.

Of course, for whatever truth there is in this comparison between the masculine and feminine, it is still an over-simplification. The true masculine aspect of nature itself, and of our beings, is not a thing of abstractions and transcendence. Anyone who believes that the masculine is limited to what we now know is a delusion of the mind, is carrying on the delusion in themselves. We have already arrived at the root of the real “masculine mysteries” earlier in this work, but we did it unannounced.

The Master of Spirits and the Magistellus

In ancient Greece, when people died, it was believed that their psyche, their soul, escaped from them as an escaping breath. And this aerial thing, this breathy soul, was like wind, because, as we have seen, it is a kind of wind. And one God among the others had the duty of coming to guide the soul to the Underworld- a God who was himself connected with flight, the winds, and the tricky, inconstant nature of the winds and airs. His name was Hermes, and in myths, he is depicted with winged sandals- winged feet- which gave him the power of aerial flight.

He was the messenger of the Gods; he moved between the world that was seen, the world of men, and the world of the Gods unseen, to do the bidding of his father, Zeus- the God of storms, light from the sky, winds, thunder, and rains.  He was the herald of all the Gods, the being who connected the mortal world with the immortal world, and saw that communication happened between them. But he was more than all this, too- Hermes was a sorcerer, a tricky and cunning sorcerer. His deceitful character from the mythologies is not in doubt; but magic? What we today call “Hermetic magic”, which was once a widespread and varied school of sorcery that spread all over the Ancient world, before and after the rise of Christianity, was precisely what its name states: The Magic of Hermes.

Hermes’ connection with wind and breath and the released breath-souls of the dead, and the journey to the Land of the Dead runs parallel to his role as the Logos- the word, the spirit of the word, the messenger, and the creator of magical words. Our descriptive term for an in-depth exploration of the deeper meanings of things- a Hermeneutic explanation- comes from this God’s name. And before this ancient non-human person that Greek history remembers as “Hermes” was all these things, he was the God of boundaries- the boundaries between one kingdom or territory and another- boundaries that were marked by his Herms, which was the name given to phallic stones, or to cairns of stone built to mark boundaries.

It is no surprise that he was the God that crossed all boundaries, as he was also the God who had the power to maintain them. The boundary between the living and the dead was the greatest of boundaries that he could cross- or guide others into crossing.

This being, this powerful sorcerous spirit with connections to the land and the phallic power of nature, and connections to the wind, the gusts of spirit, ghosts, and the Land of the Dead, was identified by Classical writers with the ancient Nordic and Germanic divinity Odin- himself a sorcerer and the chief and Master of sorcerers. Odin’s connection with the Underworld and the oracles of the dead is well known; he was most known, however, for his gift, to mankind, of language- particularly the sorcerous language of the Runes. The word “runa”, from whence “rune” derives, means “secret”  or “mystery”- but it has connotations of a whispered mystery, a whispered secret.

Today, we think of the letters of the various “Runic alphabets” as “the runes”, but the true Runes were mysterious utterances, spells, known by Odin, and taught to his followers, who were mostly sorcerers and people desiring power, either magical or political, or desiring victory over enemies. This magical connection between the characters of Hermes and Odin is met in the connection they both have to magical words, and words generally- they are “logos” Gods, word-Gods, givers of language, and thus, in a sense, givers of civilization, to man. Earlier I talked about the dangers of the written word, and discussed the difference between phonetic alphabets, and alphabets that were pictographic. The Runic alphabets are pictographs- each letter refers to some aspect of the world of the senses, like gold, or cow, or ice, or hail. Thus, the Runic script avoided the “abstracting danger” of phonetic alphabets.

Odin is believed to have his origin in an ancient storm god- a grim spirit of storms and winds, who was linked to the dead. His name refers to a “wild fury”, as only the winds and storms can deliver- and as only the inspired soul, the soul “in-spired”, or “filled with windy respiration” can understand or manifest. To be “inspired” sorcerously, or inspired otherwise, is to be “in breathed”, to have the spirit of inspiration fill your soul. Odin’s capricious, tricky, and ominously unpredictable nature is well known to students of his lore; like the winds, he appeared to be not only “wandering everywhere” on the earth, (Odin was the great wanderer who moved all over the earth) but dangerously unpredictable at times.

The wind and the storm gives motion and vitality to the world, in the same way that the soul gives motion and vitality to your body. The spiritual power that I am discussing, the ancient and timeless non-human person who stands behind the ancient cultural iconic figures of Hermes and Odin, was not depicted as phallic and chthonic, or called “Allfather” for no reason! But as we investigate the ways these ancient cultures, in southern and northern Europe, were experiencing the Spirit of winds, words, and ghosts, we start to come to another realization: the breath-giving and guiding Master of Spirits is still among us, still blasting around the world, just as he always was, and always will be.

And in the mysteries of modern Witchcraft, this means everything. Because this important being stands behind Witchcraft in the same way (and for the same reasons) that he stood behind sorcery all over Europe in ancient times. He is the “Witchfather”, the creative and deceitful spirit that inspires not just poetry and song and epic, but spells and sorcery. He is the spirit with mastery over the ghost-roads, the guide of the dead, met at the Crossroads between this world and the next- and of voracious sexual character. As Christian missionaries were certain that Odin was the devil himself, this being falls into that terror-ridden category, too. Leading his “wild hunt” on the storm and through the sky, gathering souls to himself, Odin prefigured the legends of the Devil’s hunt with his hellish hounds.

And whether or not you realize it, you have a daily relationship with this power, immediately, and distantly. This isn’t “just” mythology; this is a truth that is stranger than any fiction. This is reality- the reality that has been hidden under the “myths” that we’ve all been taught to disregard, since the time we disregarded our souls and discarded them, too.

The ancient pact between you and this ancient being of winds is remembered in your breath. This power, this spirit, transcends the cultures that once called him by various names. He was around before those cultures, and is still dwelling in our world, still doing what he always did, chiefly guiding the dead to the depths that they attain upon dying. But to those sorcerously inclined, and those who have rediscovered their souls, he can communicate and interact to their benefit- or their harm.

Because nothing is certain, really, not in this world or the next. This is true for the character of spirits, even the very powerful ones, just as it is true for human beings. Gaze into the character of humans for long, even yourself, and you’ll see the inconstant flow of emotions and opinions that you have, in the past, allowed to change you without warning. You’ll remember the friends or family you might have let down. You probably weren’t trying to be evil or flighty, but it is part of our nature, and the nature of everything. Things change, and with the wind, that reality is even more present. Thus, the “Game of Power” is played out- and the roll of Fate’s dice determines the character and abilities and propensities of every being, seen or unseen, from moment to moment.

The only hope of the wise is to be like the wind, able to stir and fly and flow and change at a moment’s notice, to be like reality, and not try to make stone where there is water, or make earth where there is really air. To say it another way, if you are in touch with the airy and subtle force of your soul, you should be able to become a “Turnskin”- a shape-shifter, like the ancient Gods were known to be.

“Shapeshifting” has many meanings, but here, I mean to alter one’s mind and soul to suit whatever Fateful conditions happen to emerge to you at the moment, so that you can navigate them with ease, as opposed to allowing the change to tear down whatever illusionary solidity you were clinging to. To make an even more straightforward example, you should become “mercurial”- like Mercury, the Roman divine equivalent of Hermes. To be “mercurial”, like Mercury, is to be changeable and transformative.

Now, I will release a bit of information, won by me from the pages of occult history, but also from the Unseen. This bit of information will be greatly expanded upon in another writing I will prepare in the future regarding the Secret Working of the Crossroads; but for now, let me loose a little secret about how the Master of Spirits, our Witchfather, communicates with individuals. Every covenant of sorcerers or Witches in the past was believed to worship the Devil, by our Christian cousins. Cult-centers in the Pagan world were well known to have their own individual Gods or Goddesses, sometimes of a very local character; this is true polytheism, after all.

Now I know, after a long time, that Witches across Europe that were truly in touch with the Master and who truly managed to evolve a conscious relationship with him (and there are countless ways to do this) did in fact have their own “devil”, their own unique “Master” who dwelled with them and aided their sorceries and protected them. Was it “THE” Master? Probably not.

A cursory study of ancient Hermeticism (allow me to recommend the superb study “Hermetic Magic” by Dr. Stephen Flowers) will reveal what other books on the topic of historical polytheology have said- that the Gods of the Pagan world were served by other, lesser daimons. The term “Daimon”, before the Christian church turned it into “demon”, simply meant “divine being”.

Every God or Goddess of national character- the popular Gods of the national mythologies- were not only “Great Daimons” themselves, but also served by beings who were spiritually attached them, merged with them somehow. The Gods and Goddesses had messengers and beings who worked in this world on their behalf- not unlike the many “angels” which surrounded the Hebrew God (the word “angel” comes from Greek, and means “messenger.”) 

If you met her, could you tell the difference between Aphrodite, and a daimon who appeared on her behalf, and who had a similar nature to her Queen and Mistress? Probably not. Any daimon, no matter how lacking in power they may be relative to the greater powers, can appear to mortals as a being of incredible majesty and power.

And these daimons who serve the “Great Daimons”, or the Great Spirits who are closest to the greatest and most elemental powers (like the daimons who serve the Lord of the Winds) are one with the will of their masters, fully drawing upon the mysterious Godhead of their Masters. In other words, when the Master of Witches was truly contacted by mortal sorcerers, and appeared, or came among them to teach them or do his bidding, it likely wasn’t him personally, but one of his daimons, one of his servitor spirits- not THE Master, but a “Little Master”- what occult history has called a “Magistellus.”

To gain the attentions of a Magistellus is a great step forward in power and connection for an individual Witch or Sorcerer, or for covenants of the same. To have a reciprocal relationship with a Magistellus of the Master represents one’s living connection to the conscious mind of the Great Spirit-Master that stands behind the Art of operative Sorcery. The Magistelli are teachers, protectors, and they appear to have much of the character and nature of the one they represent. 

Using the work of the Crossroads I have personally gained the attentions and friendship of one of the Master’s servitors, who even now remains close to me, guiding me largely in the capacity of a divinatory familiar. His appearance to me- both as a human being, and a stag/deer- and even the meaning of his name, and the occult significance of the sounds that make up his name- show his alignment with the Sphere of Mercury, the Hermetic current, as well as his chthonic nature.

The figures of wild, hairy, goatish/horned/antlered spirits have, since time immemorial, served the Master.  They appear all over in folklore and in occult systems; the satyrish spirits, most of them goat-like or shaggy, always a bit dirty, showing their connection to the Saturnian earth itself- the “Seirim” of Hebrew lore, the wild men of the woods of many European legends, the Bodaich-Pucks of the British isles; each appearing like a little Pan, or a little phallic demon, in the image of the traditional “devil” of Christianity. They are the Windy and Chthonic Master’s servitors, just as randy as he, but every bit as “mercurial” and wise as he. They are the daimons of the ancient spirit some Greeks knew as Hermes, and who has become our “devil”, and his servants his “demons”.

Those who work with me in the flesh are under the Sigil of this Magistellus of mine, the “local devil” of our little Witch-cult. This represents, to me, a very majestic achievement of my time as a sorcerer; the work that I used to obtain communion with this being, and the name he gave me, and his sign, which he taught me, are closely guarded secrets of my Art. I can say one more thing about this Magistellus of mine- once, and long ago, he was a human being like us, but through his experiences and efforts, became what he is now.

 A request to the Master himself can be delivered by the Little Master, who is always near the human covenant; and if the Master consents, his representative is who “does the dirty work”, if you catch my drift. In folklore, we see the “Devil” riding in his hunt with his faeries, or elves, or spirits, and sometimes his hounds- all representations of his servitor daimons. To be a “hound” of the Hunter is to be more than an astral canine; it is a symbolic way of referring to the servitor spirits of the Huntsman generally.

We know this much about THE Master. Despite his aerial connections- which the early Church knew of well, when they stated, in the bible, that their true “enemies” were the” powers of the air”- he is of supremely chthonic character, merged with the earth itself and the Underworld. He is not just a windy ghost; he is fully merged with the flesh and blood, and with the earth itself. His lurching phallus and connection with the randy goat and the ramping buck is not a mistake.

He is the intelligence behind the furious force of the phallus, wanting to sink deeply into warm, fertile space to increase the massive field of life-force that spreads everywhere. And yet, for all that, for all his goatish jests and black sense of humor and strange, red, almost obscene-seeming personality of Misrule, he has a purely “aerial” form as well, almost angelic and ethereal; he, the Turnskin Lord, can appear any way he likes. Supreme in wisdom and cunning, he never leaves those who go to him for genuine advice wanting for the wisdom they sought.  He is the cemetery-lord, the Prince of Elfhame or the Underworld, Prince among the Alfar, the Elves, who are the spirits of the dead. He is obscene and pure, wild and noble or refined- the beginning and end of each of us, in the breath. He can take you flying, if he chooses.

But his ways are ultimately inscrutable to most of us. His concern for human beings is well known- and why? I can only assume it is the breath and soul connection we have to him. Else, I can’t imagine why he and his servitors should spend so much effort on guiding the recently dead- or the sorcerously alive- into the depths and helping them to find their Fateful portions.

Whatever his reasoning, our reaction as humans should be a mixture of caution, awe, and thankfulness to his strange presence. Because despite all I’ve said so far, one thing remains for those who really gain the vistas of the soul, one knowledge that is difficult for many to accept. The spiritual powers that exist, the presences that are living “out there”, and the “Great Presence” which I know as Fate, which is the real origin of us all, spirit or man- these powers are not batting their eyelids in love with mankind. We don’t face a world that prefers us, or loves us more than any other part. This is hard for many to hear, especially thanks to the teachings of Christianity.

Love certainly exists; touch the soul for a moment, and you’ll touch on a great love. You know love between yourself and your beloved friends and family. But every being in this world has its own destiny- and that is true individually as well as collectively. We humans are not the “pet projects” of all the spirits or Gods unseen. They do not exist to pull our arses out of whatever fires we may find ourselves in, or put ourselves in. What help you might gain from them will not come, typically, from some sense of duty they feel towards you as  a human, but from what friendship you engender in them from your soul-level effort, or from some interest you might awaken in them by your cunning deeds.

Think here of Odysseus and his relationship with the Goddess Athena herself- she admitted to him in one of her personal visits to him that she saw in him a kindred spirit, a person of such great cunning, that she knew she had to protect him. It was merit that won Odysseus such a blessed relationship with such a powerful non-human person, not some sense of universal love for humanity on her part.

And there is something both awe-inspiring, and awful, about Fate itself. And this ground we walk on? She is not just a nurturing mother who gives us vegetables or fruits to eat; she is also a devouring power, just like Fate. Nature isn’t just kindly; it can kill individuals or entire hosts of humans and animals, with ease. Everything in your experience, seen or unseen, is laced with a certain hint of danger, an uncertainty. Even when I realized that my soul wasn’t vulnerable to “death” as I had once thought, I realized that death was still close at hand, and would swoop down one day- perhaps soon- and thrust me into the depths of soul.

And the “Great Presence” that I felt (described earlier in my journal entry) wasn’t going to stop this from happening- in fact, it had something to do with why it was happening. These powers don’t have our human agendas. They don’t put our particularly human needs or wants first and foremost. This is the final lesson of Fate: in a world of many beings, seen and unseen, the needs and wants of one particular kind of being are never the center stage. The world is never just about you, nor even all of your kind. Even the spirits- and even the Master- have their own road under the influence of Fate. The lesson here? You aren’t as important as you have been taught to think by your anthropocentric world with its anthropocentric religions, sciences, and cultures.

Your real importance comes not from your cultural understandings (which are all aspects of the conceptual mind) but from your soul, and your real place in the great whole of things. We don’t tend to know our true place, but we can discover it. But whether or not we discover it consciously is of smaller value than we think- because come what may, the winds of life and death are going to blow you to your place, move you there, steadily. You might discover that as you “moved” on the winds of life and death, you were always in your “right” place. This is Fate’s promise- and she makes it not just to human souls, but to all souls. She strips away our empty and illusionary hopes, but gives back the real and the immortal.

So go along with what the world is doing. Don’t put yourself in its way, and don’t let fond but false hopes give you the wrong idea about what spiritual beings really are- or what you are. Using the “forgetting trance”, the “Amnesia ploy”, start communing with the Unseen in a more direct, sensory way, if you’re bold enough.

Be ready for the Game of Power that will wake up in you and around you, and take it day by day. Don’t be fearful. If you’re playing it, you’ve already found a soul in you, and win or lose, that’s a good thing to find. Now, you stand to gain relationships of power in the Unseen world that can change you further- carry you beyond just a mortal who knows the soul, to a mortal who flies among the ancient spirits and powers, and gains favors and wisdom from them. Flying- and communication with the unseen, as well as the sorcerous use of senses to affect many transformations- is the discussion we’ll be having in the next section of this treatise.


  1. Thanks for taking the time to share this immense knowledge with us. It makes sense. Also, for explaining the hierarchy of the God and Daemon energies. Looking forward to the other Forgetting Human articles.

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