If you’re one of those people who says, “I’m fine,” rather than expressing how you really feel when someone asks “What’s wrong?” odds are you were raised to tolerate emotional negligence and shamed or guilt tripped for expressing your true feelings because your parents didn’t want to deal with you. I’m just saying, we’re all flawed. If certain people in your life have chosen to neglect your feelings (especially family), be responsible for your feelings: set boundaries, talk to someone who cares, vent in a healthy way, deescalate, ground yourself, and most importantly, DO NOT criticize yourself for being human. The way others treat you does not define your worth, but your emotions are still your responsibility.
I’ve said “I’m fine” too many times. Even to myself, by myself. Many of those were a lie. No more lying for the convenience of others or lying to ourselves. No more.
If you’re a funeral doom fan, you’ve probably heard of Trees of Eternity. This was the first funeral doom band I fell in love with and it was sad to hear of Aleah’s passing. It’s heartwarming this tribute was made to her.
A lot of the hatred, heartbreak, and loss recently may persuade some of us to hide away or run away. I woke up feeling that way, then decided to do an ancestral and karmic oracle reading. I used The Shaman’s Oracle deck to speak with my ancestors who communicated an awesome message of resilience reminding me that fear can be hurtful and paralyzing, which is all the more reason to set boundaries and take time to retreat so you can reflect on the truth of the situation, but there’s no need to forget your own strength. There are traditions in the past many tried to oppress, but they still live on. There are those who cultivated their skills in the midst of being afraid and became prolific figures in history and in modern times. Right now we have so many protests, petitions, and other forms of speaking out against injustice and unfairness. While fighting for integrity and acknowledging our fear, we shouldn’t forget our power and our right to live because that is how our freedom lives on.
It’s appalling that there are people to this day who believe some lives are less valued than others, but those same people are ignorant of the fact that they don’t have authority over another’s life. What fear teaches us when we see those same people do wicked things to others is to be cautious as we forge our own path. Sometimes a brash and outspoken rebellion isn’t as significant as a patient strategy that can abolish oppression for the long-term. Acknowledging our fear and being thoughtful of what is and isn’t in our control is what maintains freedom because then our fear doesn’t become a card the oppressor can play whenever they want.
I hope this isn’t being interpreted as a suggestion to be passive and tolerant of injustice, but rather as encouragement on the establishment of autonomy, keeping our power. There is hope, but if your heart is angry and seeking revenge, the hardest blow you can land is striving to live your best life. The people who take the oppressive route are clowns refusing to reflect on their own pain and insecurity, which is not our responsibility, but theirs. All the more reason to make sure we speak out about accountability and continue the fight for integrity without losing our will to live or abandoning our gratitude for life.
The way this message was told to me started with the dancer of fear (acknowledging fear and pain, cautious and resilient), then the ancestor of boundaries (setting boundaries, respecting yourself), then the shaman of tradition (deep memories, ancestral wisdom, remembering the past), then the ancestor of skill (utilizing skills and powers to daily life) and lastly the ancestor of hope (strength to achieve goals for the long term, even during adversity).
The stones on top of the cards are two malachite (the green ones), two Botswana agate, and in the middle is lodelite.
I just published a prose poem on the fire element. Please read.
Fire introduced himself as the fuel for survival and a slow killer. I thought thinking of his slow burns made my teeth chatter not realizing the cold surrounding was the chill of fear. I admired his trickster ways and wanted to learn from him, while I hid in the cold without knowing why.
When we met, I learned he and I were bipolar. The closer you get, the more you realize our true power. That scares people. Hell, it scared me. I was so afraid, I feared everything I touched when he proudly burned inside me, the purification singeing away the conditioning that convinced me he wasn’t safe. I wasn’t sure if this conditioning was my fault or if my psyche was programmed to never know the word “bravery”, but only saw its definition when he burned brightly in other souls and I obeyed my conditioning to see him as a sin I should never touch.
Internal conflict: “An internal or psychological conflict arises as soon as a character experiences two opposite emotions or desires – usually virtue and vice, or good and evil – inside him. This disagreement causes the character to suffer mental agony, and it develops a unique tension in a storyline, marked by a lack of action.” – literarydevices.net
My horror short, “Autonomy Bleeds Black“, is a story driven by internal conflict. My protagonist, called “the author” is torn between standing up for himself or giving into parental manipulation. I think for internal conflict to remain engaging, you have to keep three things in mind: 1. Make it relatable, 2. Make it believable, 3. Make sure the stakes for each choice are high. The relatable element comes from our most common emotional and psychological conflicts in life, like relationship issues, career choices, etc. The believable aspect comes from how characters act and respond to their conflict. In my story, my protagonist has anxiety attacks and maladaptive daydreams in response to the parental pressure in his life. Lastly, raising the stakes requires suspense and for most internal conflicts, the consequences have to be clear even for situations as messy and ambiguous as emotional instability. What are the consequences for letting a manipulative person back in your life versus setting up your boundaries and expecting destructive backlash from the manipulative person? What about betraying a friends trust versus being loyal at the cost of losing your job? It’s about emphasizing the importance of the consequence to the character and translating that over to the audience even if the true consequence isn’t so black and white.
I know this doesn’t fit the “theme” of my brand or content, but I genuinely don’t care. The police brutality issue towards African Americans in the United States requires more than just firing an officer when they get caught.
Mark Stavish is well known as the Director of Studies for the Institute for Hermetic Studies and over 35 years of Traditional Western Esotericism making him a leading authority in Hermeticism today. You can read more about his academic and publishing history here, but I’m sure his reputation proceeds him for those who have already delved into the Hermetic Qabalah teachings. Some of his books, including The Path of Alchemy were published in the early 2000s, but he’s published many articles and is running a current blog here. As for the why, I think it’s pretty clear Stavish is dedicated to the occult sciences. After reading his interviews, he seems pretty down to earth as someone who acknowledges and is respectful of the different paths one can take to pursue magic, yet stands his ground as to why Hermeticism is essential to his life path.
My Take on The Path of Alchemy
I truly appreciate the informative tone of this book. I don’t know if you’ve experienced the dissatisfying ceremonial or hermetic magicians who are arrogant or publish books that are more fluff than education, but I’m sure over it. I take avid notes while reading The Path of Alchemy, constantly looking forward to dive deeper in this practice. Although most of my own magical practice has been folk/pagan based, I respect the scientific and philosophical background of alchemy Stavish has presented so well.
There isn’t any pretentious bias from what I’ve read so far. It’s not purely instructional either. If you respect the study of astrology and the study of the Qabalah teachings in Hermeticism (which is different than the Jewish Kabbalah or Jewish Mysticism), you’ll grasp the teachings from Stavish quickly. Astrologically, a lot I have read so far just clicked. Hopefully when I finish, I can do a full book review, but for now, I really like it.
If you’ve read this text already and have more you recommend, comment below. Let’s chat.
I’m taking some time to reflect today for the sake of making sure I take steps on the path that’s right for me. The video above has great meditation music for aura cleansing. I’ve been enjoying it anyway since it’s subtle and ambient. It was great for my morning divination today.
I needed to share a part of my prose poem “Prose of The Fool” again because… well, remember my earlier post saying that I’m bad at taking my own advice? Yeah. I needed to reread this because I am embarking in something kind of new to me and I’m terrified, but I must trust.
“When new experiences appear, we have the tendency to flood ourselves with expectations of the best, the worst, the fantastic, the horrific, but overall we’re hoping it all leads to a pragmatic ending: let me fall and land on my feet. Right now, you’re flooded with emotions and thoughts trying to keep your head above the high tide of your own soul. Ironically, you fear drowning before you’ve taken your step. Who knows what’s beyond that cliff. An ocean? A puddle? Land? You’ll never know as long as your foot hovers. To move to the new, you must trust.”