Saturday, March 26, 2011

A Vast Journey in the Great Beyond

It has been a while since I've posted anything on this blog (obviously). Last I was writing, I was in a bend of many months of arduous study, application, practice, and experimentation which led to a season of burnt out dryness where no matter what I did, what I read, or what I practiced, I simply was not progressing any longer. I do this from time to time, although in the past I would fall into terrible vices and lose my way entirely. The past several months have certainly been interesting. The majority of my free time was either spent in developing a happy, sober life with my friends and sponsors in AA, patching relationships with friends and family, and learning how to place myself in a position of mental and emotional serenity and neutrality. Otherwise, I was playing a ton of video games and watching plenty of movies. These are of course activities that cannot keep me satisfied forever, but are good for a season.

As I was going into a spiritual/magickal nap, so to speak, my last desire was that I could find an area of Earth spirituality to enrich my spiritual and magickal practice and find some well needed balance. This is not to say that the practice of conjure or magickal evocation is unsubstantial or lacking, but the better magicians I have learned from have developed an harmonious path which fuses, usually, a firm foundation in a faith, and a blend of loftier "higher" magick, with a natural "lower" magick into a system which is truly a good way to utilize the "As Above, So Below" formula. Having felt restless and discontent with my youthful study and experimentation with a Wiccan/Neo-Pagan approach to Earth spirituality, I wanted to find something more compatible with my Hermetic Christian faith and practice, something I could not find in the aforementioned approaches.

However, the various spiritual traditions from which shamanism is derived appear to be based in and utilize ideas and practices which are universally applicable, but most specifically with my "monotheistic" (that word doesn't really encapsulate it fully) and emanationist philosophies on existence. In various forms of Native American spirituality, there is an observation of a single, potent force from which everything has been brought forth, with the aid of created "helpers" who have been made responsible for carrying out various roles in manifestation. This is, perhaps, not how a Native of these traditions would explain it, but this is how I understand it hermetically. There is a reverence for the earth and all that is; a ready and conscious recognition that spirits inhabit everything without exception, that everything is conscious and breathing and shifting, pulsing, moving and vibrating. That force is the Spiritus Mundi. We know its individual expressions as the Spirits of Location. All matter is their vibrational frequency, their "energy" condensed into a low vibration which we understand as matter. On the cosmic scale, however, everything around us is composed of that same Spiritus Mundi, and all those Spirits that inhabit them are but individual expressions of essentially the same Spirit.

To Natives, I suppose, these forces are described in such pure and visual terms: "Father Sky, Mother Earth", so on and so forth. Those simple labels really encompass the entirety of that Spiritual reality that IS nature. "They" are in the clouds, in the sky, in the grass, in the trees, in the dew dropping from a leaf, in a puppy crawling on your chest as you stare at the starry sky taken aback with awe and wonder, in the air you breath, in everything. These simple, or perhaps not so simple, cultures experienced a spiritual reality that arose out of absolute, undivided purity. Untouched, pure, shameless, and without the trappings and separation certain forms of Western thought place on the divine and material, as though they were totally separate.

For anyone familiar with the idea, I went on a shamanic journey which did in fact entail the use of a sacred substance. This was not a decision taken lightly. After
days of consideration and hours of conjure, meditation, and contemplation, I imbibed this substance for the expansion of consciousness and the ability to, at long last, see everything it is I have believed and worked at so hard for years crystallized before my very eyes. There are a few ways to know and understand Wisdom. Thanks to the guidance of my Holy Guardian Angel, I took many things from my head to my heart many, many months ago. But thanks to this shamanic journey, my third eye essentially got pryed open and the rest of what I know in my head got brought down to my heart. Finally, I have come to grasp things I have only known in part for so long now. With due respect to the sacred substance, the experience, and what I encountered while in this state, I cannot utilize it again unless I find myself in a genuine and proper position to do so. This situation is out of reach for now and may be for quite a while. I am referring, of course, to being taken through the experience by the traditional means under the careful observation of a genuine, blood born shaman in South America, with all the preparation, cleansing, and meditation as a precursor, and by imbibing the sacred and traditional brew known as Ayahuasca, made by traditional means with intent.

If these factors are not in place, I have no business going back on my own.

After watching the world breathe, seeing the divine structure of animals and humans, seeing the spirits that inhabit everything in front of my eyes, and entering into a deep trance as the sacred geometry carried me down a vortex, I entered a radiant, golden light. There was the sound of a hissing snake that grew in strength and intensity, without pause. My ego and any sense of self, "I", body, or individuality was completely stripped from me. In this state, I was merely energy, if you will, in the ultimate reality. I found myself in a tent with a shaman who was taking the role of a guide. He was majestic, powerful, wise, but fierce. I felt like a baby, a child, a seedling in his presence. He communicated with me telepathically (to paraphrase), "I have allowed you into this place because you came in search to know the spirit realm. I will show you what you came to see and what you need to see, but do not try to come back to this place." The shaman was preparing things at a table and he would not reveal himself to me fully, I saw mostly his back and he looked at me from the side. In the tent with us was a serpent who continued a loud, unbreakable hiss. I entered the realm of the radiant, golden light and was immersed and dissolved in that perfect spiritual essence, the same fabric and energy of the highest, most heavenly realm. There were certainly spirits among me, but they lacked form, they did not present themselves, I had simply, for a time, been made a part of them. The feeling was overwhelming, powerful, and humbling. I was fearful in the most positive way.

By the moment I grasped that, I was sent into a totally different place. This was a place of unbelievable, profound emptiness and hollowness. I was surrounded by
another set of spirits this time, and I did have some form of self, or "body" in this realm. These beings were surrounding me. They were unbelievably hollow and empty -- absence of substance, breathless, lifeless, vacuums of light and love. They were white as dead men, their eyes were hollow, black holes that demanded to peer into your soul and try to drain it. Their gaze was unbroken, expressionless emptiness -- sucking into themselves anything that would allow it. They encircled me, moving very slowly, in a very reptilian way. The ones in front moved their faces and hands slowly, toward me in a snake like motion, getting as close to me as they could without ever touching me. They didn't breathe and in their realm, there was no breath. Their fingers were serpents reaching and probing and consuming. The ones behind me leaned over my shoulders.

I re entered my body and could feel myself filling the suit that is my flesh, and I could still distinctively feel them around me. I opened my physical eyes and I could see the shadows shifting around. Those beings on earth show up as shadow beings. They try to consume and entice us, but if we could only see their fullness, we would never fall into their gaze and be consumed. Sadly, so many of us have been and will be consumed by them, but some will grow and learn from the experience. They are the things which separate us from that perfect Light, that perfect powerful Love and Essence which is the God Source, the Source of the Architect of everything. Truly, my words alone do not do it justice, but words cannot express the fullness of the experience. I have learned a lot from it and there is no need to return, I was shown what I needed to see.

I have applied what I have learned by being more connected to the earth, spending more intimate time outside with nature, eating better foods because the earth lends itself to us out of Love, and treating the people in my life better, because there is a part of God in them experiencing what He created. Would you knowingly be cruel or impatient to a Son or Daughter of God? That is what we are. If you knew that the set of eyes looking at your were a miniature set of God's eyes taking in the things He created, and expressing Himself through it, would you be unkind? The earth is not OURS. The Earth belongs to the spirit that inhabits it, and we have been made welcome to it because of LOVE. We are lovingly invited into its home and it makes itself available to us out of Love. We are like the limbs and probes of God, with a sort of umbilical connection to the Source Himself. If what you are seeing and experiencing is an extension of God's own sight, wouldn't you want to give the Source a great VIEW? Go out and love the gifts of nature, of the world, of romance, and friendship. Spend time appreciating the starry sky, the clouds, the trees. Be moved and inspired by them. God, in a way, sees through you, and sees you through others. So as He has made the world available to us as a gift out of Love, give God a "good view", and be a Good Sight to see. Not because you are afraid, but because it is what we are made for.

Love others, do not be cruel, unkind, judging, and impatient. By loving them, you give Love to God. By being kind and patient to your fellow man, you are showing kindness and patience to the Spirit of God. Appreciate everything. That is the main message that was shared with me from full immersion into the spirit realm.

Outside of this, I am taking up a study of Native American spirituality. I would like to understand their world view and learn some of their practices within it, and then take its finer points into my continued spiritual growth. This is, of course, no step away from Hermetics -- Hermetics are my mystical corner stone, the foundation upon which my observation of the cosmos builds. It is the system that, in my opinion, gives way to the greatest understanding we can reach as humans. Biased, I know, but this is my experience.

Until next time.

(Side note: I read RO use the terminology "New Agey Shaman-esque period" to refer to a point in his life, this is not that. Just a genuine venture into the Earth aspect of my spirituality)

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