When I first walked away from this blog it was because I found myself at an impasse. With myself.
The systems I began resonating with and working within were seemingly at odds with one another. And it was around this point that my whole life crumbled. My health had started failing with no end in sight. Due to this I finally lost my job, yet couldn’t get approved for disability, and wasn’t seeing the improvement needed to land a new job I could sufficiently perform. I was out of prospects and hurtling toward inevitable homelessness. During this, my fiancé left me, on my birthday of all days, while in a particularly private and vulnerable position. An intentional act of cruelty that took advantage of an altered state. This was the final straw. I broke.
The next 6-12 months were spent near suicidal. I would open my eyes upon waking in the morning then crumble into sobs because I wished I had died. I couldn’t bear to face another day. I’d lost my gods, my faith, my love, my job, my health, my sense of self, I’d lost everything. I had ceased to be. I didn’t care anymore. But the sun always rose, relentlessly, and I was convinced that something would be happy if I killed myself so I just endured out of spite. And so it repeated day after day after day.
I did not have context for much of what I had dabbled in. Like a kid in a candy store I was excited by all the options. It was all new to me and I tried my hand at almost everything. I trusted people’s word naively assuming they had to know better than me due to my lack of experience. I unknowingly said things I should not have, unknowingly posted things I should not have, and I didn’t feel I understood my own practice any longer. There were others who I knew existed now, I had found them, seen their posts, read their books, listened to their musick, but I was still alone and isolated. My personal notes and myths crisscrossed with theirs in so many ways. I had no idea what to make of it. It was jarring, overwhelming, confusing, and I was completely lost.
Until their first manifestations in the form of this blog and the other (now closed) social media groups and sites, my beliefs and practice had always been hidden and in secret. My run ins with church authorities throughout my youth were never because I blabbed or spoke my mind about these practices. I had hiding spots for my notebooks. Even the symbols of my faith were hand designed between myself and the primary spirit I worked with so that I could have something to hold onto that others wouldn’t violently react to if they saw it. All of my theories, notes, communications, etc., had been between only myself and the page. Often at least partially written in code and shorthand so that even if the notes were found they would be indecipherable to others. I denied everything. Always. After the Satanic accusations were started by my mother in my early teens I outwardly denied belief in anything at all and claimed to be an atheist who didn’t believe in any gods or devils (despite my own continued private practicing), but it was to no avail. She just kept insisting that during prayer “God”, specifically Y-H in this case, had told her what I was involved with.
So after all of this, after reaching out to find anyone else, albeit virtually, I came to a point where I dejectedly thought, what the hell am I doing? What else but harm would possibly come from continuing to talk about this? Clearly, I’ve gone massively wrong somewhere. What if I cast this information in a false light simply out of my own ignorance? Would that not be disrespectful to my own gods? To their systems? To their practitioners? Have I already done so? Is that why people are behaving as they are toward me? What if I point others in a bad or unsafe direction? This isn’t to say my own writing stopped. I’ve filled another 2-3 notebooks during the interim, but I did not feel it would benefit anyone to read those thoughts or theories.
Fast forward to current day. After having rebuilt my life – on December 24th, while driving to a friends holiday dinner, I was victim of a hit and run collision. A drunk driver came tearing down the surface street I was on at freeway speeds. I was stopped at a red light waiting to turn into the neighborhood. I heard the squealing of brakes behind me and looked up at my rearview mirror to see white smoke billowing up from the tires of a truck skidding towards me. I gasped, and before I had time to do anything else – BAM – he slammed into the rear of my car. Then pulled up alongside me, looked straight at me, and sped off around the corner leaving a trail of radiator fluid from his smashed front end.
I mention this because in the aftermath of this event I found myself running in the same circles as I had when I had decided to walk away from my practice and realizing that has led me back to this blog.
Two days prior to the accident I had brought offerings to a protection spirit who I had called upon as a shield back when my practice and life were both crumbling. Recently, in hindsight, I was able to see footprints of this spirit and felt he was due an official thank-you for much that has occurred since then. I hoped to thank him for his previous unseen assistance. I wanted to hopefully build a working relationship with one another moving forward if he was open to it. I had been thinking up different offering ideas but not really feeling pulled to any one thing or another. I figured I’d push it out of mind until something felt right.
With it being winter I decided to try my hand at making stew that day. I’d let it cook in the crock-pot all day so the house would get all delicious smelling and cozy. Within a few hours the impression that he wanted stew was constant and impossible to ignore. So the next day when I had the house to myself and could do so unnoticed by the mundane I reheated it in the crock pot, built him an altar with fresh candles and his charged sigil, brought him a bloodstone in a silk bag as a symbol of his protection and brought him a big bowl of hot stew with a few slices of fresh bread. I laid this out, called to him and spoke a short but heartfelt message of thanks and of my intent to him then invited him to enjoy the offerings.
As human nature would have it, following the accident I was angry. “Some protection” I mumbled and kept thinking about how I was going to give him an earful once I was back home. As despite having insurance I could still be stuck in a bad situation.
I knew it! I thought. This system is at odds with my beliefs, these spirits won’t ever protect me and I was stupid to think they would.
I started convincing myself that those footprints I had thanked him for were just me connecting dots that weren’t necessarily connected. Wishful thinking I told myself, You should know better than to believe anyone has your back.
Then as the night went on and I was better able to grasp what had just happened I stopped and took stock of the fact that physically, aside from some major soreness, I was fine. When the truck was barreling toward me in the rear view mirror I just knew my face was going to be smashed through my own windshield, yet it wasn’t, I was fine. Not a scratch, not a broken bone, not a drop of blood on me. And suddenly it occurred to me, this could have been, and looked like it was going to be, a hell of a lot worse.
But this brings me to a strange place as a practitioner. The only context I have for these thoughts is my Evangelical (Pentecostal) Christian upbringing, where every bad event is explained away as “God” working in mysterious ways (or demonic influence) and every time things work out “God” is thanked as having helped. This is not a context I am comfortable with or willing to work within for obvious reasons. Aside from the fact that I don’t share their “God”, it seems like an intellectually dishonest position to hold.
Despite working with entirely different gods in an entirely different manner, I came to think, am I not doing the exact same thing? When calling upon spirits for aid with specific issues or short-term projects it’s pretty easy to gauge their influence, if any. But with more broad concerns like protection, health, etc., how on earth can we ever know where to draw the line? How can we possibly quantify or measure their influence? I assume most mature adults understand that no one can be protected at all times. It seems more logical to assume all is chance a la Chaos Magick, but if we’re engaging with spirits, wouldn’t this view disregard any work they actually are doing on our behalf?
Since this blog originally started as a place for discussions, to brainstorm, and just to talk with others who might function within similar worldviews I feel like this is a good topic to come back with. As most of you who will see this are practitioners yourselves, how do you walk that line? How do you avoid blaming spirits or magick for bad luck? How do you avoid giving them undo credit for good luck? Where and how do you find that balance?