So, that was the first week, eh?
Well, today is day 7 and I guess I technically shouldn’t be writing the write-up for the week until tomorrow, but its happening today because today is the day that I have time to do it, and more importantly the will and inclination to do it.
Had I tried to do this last night I would have given up very quickly, as I dipped into real horrible despairing state and just wanted everything to fuck right off away from me!
It was time to Face the Darkness.
A warning upfront – this is a whingey ass post that’s probably best ignored.
The appearance of the state I had last night was the thing I was most trepidatious about going into this challenge as the previous time I did any sort of similar daily banishing I also experienced these states.
My regularly vocalised aversion to daily banishing stems from the fact that it sort of feels like spiritual chemotherapy to me, whereby all the bad stuff gets nuked but so too does the good. It’s a bit like burning everything to the ground to start again. This, of course, isn’t everyone’s experience of banishing, and I’ll ignore the whole “But you need to Invoke too, you idiot!” debate for now.
During my previous experience, which I abandoned after around two months of daily practice, I experienced a number of good things (from my humble perspective – the view of the gods may differ) being removed such as a pretty immediate sizeable impact to my income -all my guitar students quit their lessons in a matter of hours of each other one afternoon – all unrelated, and all for different reasons, all assuring me that it wasn’t anything to do with me.
Now ultimately, this could be perceived as a good thing as I hated teaching guitar and really only did it because I had to in order to pay the bills. So while the argument could be made that the banishing was just getting rid of stuff that was, I dunno… me not following my True Will™? However, it did leave me in a much worse position than I was before the banishing as I was now pretty broke – and that experience is much, much worse than the sheer mind-numbing boredom of having to teach kids music who have no interest in learning music.
I ended up having to go down to the local social welfare office, cap in hand, and sign on the dole. I felt so ashamed and worthless.
Everything fell apart and stayed apart for, frankly, a number of years. Dark, depressing, horrible years.
So, my previous experience of daily banishing is that rather than removing the bad stuff from your life it just makes your life much, much worse. Why you ask then would I want to try it again? Well, I talk about why on this week’s TaSTA podcast.
SO, WHAT HAPPENED LAST NIGHT?
I could feel last night’s state coming hours before it arrived. It had that freight train coming towards you feel.
Over the last week along with the daily Star Ruby, followed by a Fire Practice, I have been really delving deep into some Bindings that are showing me areas of my life where I am reacting to events in, let’s say, a less than ideal manner.
Any sort of shadow work will be intense and make you feel like a shitty person (rather than just a person displaying shitty behaviour) and it is easy, in the midst of it, to get down, depressed, and despondent. Ultimately though there is a great reward for shadow work in that you are able to clearly see your level of assholness and so are finally able to laugh at yourself for being said asshole. Though you do really have to travel through the darkness to get to the light. Once you see it, it’s next to impossible to continue the behaviour – you really have to try, and you really have to be OK with knowing you are an asshole for doing it.
I had been getting really good headway into these bindings until I noticed that an older binding that I felt I had dealt with suddenly was active again – basically, I was playing the same old asshole again in the same area. This was quite devastating and lead to a very quick downward turn into darkness. Now, as some of you may also have experienced, once the Universe sees that you are spiralling into the pits it does its very best to exacerbate things by throwing in a few other stings just to make sure you are getting the full experience. I’ll not bore you with the details as the details aren’t important. Besides, they involve other people and I have decided it is only ever fair to tell my story.
I spiralled badly.
I started to see just how trapped I had become in my life and thinking – for instance, my notion of money is a complete mind trap I can’t get out off.
If I don’t have enough I obviously feel terrible and worthless. If I have enough I also feel terrible because I feel guilt, or that I am doing something wrong, or that I will get in trouble or something that I haven’t quite worked out yet. Having more money than I need just turns me into an anxious mess as I am just waiting for it to blow up in my face.
Due to the fact that I have this very thin line of an unsustainable (probably unachievable) comfort zone when it comes to money it just feels like the whole thing is a trap, a prison that no matter what happens works out terrible.
I started to feel suffocated.
I then noticed some other shitty behaviour I repeatedly around spiritual attainments (or more correctly lack of attainments) that unfolded into seeing it as a much wider shitty behaviour I perform in all areas of my life which ultimately is just plain old envy and jealousy – how fucking boring of me? Even my shadows are cliches, not even fancy shadows.
It ended with me thinking all of it is bullshit – ALL OF IT!!! Me, other people, books, magick, money, living, existence, being alive, being dead, trying to improve, the fucking physics of this planet, phone keyboards where you have to type everything three times cos they suck… I could go on – and last night I did, for a number of hours.
But you know within all that, below the steady boil of anger and resentment – I knew what the problem was, but knowing it didn’t stop me going on my little spat. Too much enjoyment to have in the indulgence to stop.
The problem, of course, is me.
Or more precisely, the problem is seeing, yet again, the full shine of my shittiness, the full extend of my assholicness and the glory of my useless destructive repeating roles that just seem to be endlessly layered – deal with one only to reveal a darker one and so on, and so on… and pretending it’s creations fault.
The outward expression of this role is me blaming creation for me being sad all the time.
But, this is what I signed up for with this Star Ruby Challenge.
This is also why I do Bindings, why I do the Magia practices, and why I do magick at all.
I’m trying to stop being an asshole.
Magick for me is about working towards not being an asshole to myself firstly, and then to the people around me, and then to creation as a whole.
The problem I think with the banishing the last time was that I gave up when the going got rough. I stopped going through the dark to get to the light. I had a look at the dark and said: “No thanks, I’m out of here!” and turned away from it. And have kept my back turned since, hoping it will go away.
Eventually, though we all have to look at the darkness and walk straight into the heart of it.
Which brings me to Peter Kingsley’s Catafalque, a book that took me well over a year to read. Not because its that long, but because I have been spending my entire life turning away from the darkness of the themes this book is about.
I felt physically nauseous when I finished it.
I really didn’t want to accept what it was saying, or even look at it, I wanted to make a liar out of Kingsley and condemn him as a fraud, or at the very least mistaken or misguided. But the realisation that came with finishing a book I didn’t want to face is that by not facing it I would never even know what is the actual nature of this darkness I have been so avoiding actually is.
This whole thing deserves a post of its own – perhaps a video or podcast, so I’ll not go into it now (though I do talk a small bit about it in the podcast linked above). But I mention it because it is all relevant to the theme of this week which having gone through it and had a look back I can see is “Facing the Darkness”
Anyway, that’s week one. It’s going exactly as anticipated. Let’s see how the next three or so weeks go.
Here’s my Star Ruby and Meditation Diaries for this week. As I write this I haven’t done them for today hence why there are just six days.
Day 1 – 01/10/2020
Star Ruby 11:05 am
Made a big effort to centre and quiet myself at the start as I had quite a stressful morning and my mood was definitely in the depressed, frustrated and angry area of the emotions map. The actual ritual was Ok, other than I completely blanked on one of the NOX signs, but that’s to be expected. I also forgot to visualise the pentagram expanding other on the “Therion” side. But all in all not too bad for day 1 had not done the ritual in a long while. Afterwards, I did the Magia Lamp Prayer and lay down for a half-hour Fire practice, which was very relaxing and I got into a very, very deep trance. I felt really good. But then immediately afterwards the world jumped back in and the stress went to 11 again. A sudden barrage of emails, texts, and other messages all arrived at once – almost as if to remind me that I needed to be stressed. I jest, but just a bit.
Meditation. Fire 30 mins
Visions of a white fish with a green tinge to its colour swimming upwards until it broke through the water and then started flying forcefully through the air until it burst off the planet and into space. Landed on what appeared to be Mars and forced its way underground into a cool dark large pool of water. It swam through the water until it got to a small cavern where it turned into Delaney from Taboo, naked with a staff, with his back to me. He turned around and smiled at me and then the “camera” moved backwards and faded out.
Day 2 – 02/10/2020
Star Ruby 14:40 pm
I remembered NOX this time but messed up the words a bit with the Guardians section. Was better able to visualise the pentagrams today as well. Again followed by a Fire Practice, which was very deep and trancey.
MEDITATION – FIRE 30 MINS
Very deep, very relaxing and very tranced. Still feel a bit tranced but immediately brought back to anger and frustration while typing this as it constantly doesn’t type what I want. I fucking hate this world. It feels like it’s just doing it’s best to annoy me as much as it can. But back to the medication. Very deep, felt very light and spacey. The last two meditations have been. Very good. It’s just the whole living thing before and after it, that’s the issue.
Day 3 – 03/10/2020
STAR RUBY – 10.30 am
Really good today. Did it in my bedroom rather than the office because it’s the weekend. The first time I felt like “I got it” or that I had actually performed it. I definitely feel the ritual is having a very positive effect on my meditation (which I do directly afterwards) and is allowing me to come to terms with the world and my place in it. Good stuff so far
MEDITATION – FIRE 30 MINS
Again very relaxing and very still and silent. I suppose my concern is “am I actually doing the practice correctly or am I just relaxing” feels effortless compared to say counting breaths, but I do have a habit of overdoing it or overthinking.
DAY 4 – 04/10/2020
STAR RUBY- 10:55 AM
Good today, again felt like I did it correctly and it “worked”. I am noticing changes in my day to day life, lots of little niggly things creeping up to the surface and demanding to be dealt with rather than ignored. There definitely seems to be a shift going on but it’s more like the movement of the 1000 little things than the one big thing. Lots of things “falling into place” around understanding themes and events in my life. Sometimes accompanied by the vision of counters dropping into a “Connect 4” game. Also, I am having a big “clearing” of my digestive system today. But I had a Chinese takeaway yesterday for the first time in literally years, which is likely the culprit – but all seem connected.
MEDITATION – FIRE 25 MINS
I believe I got to the third stage of the Fire practice for the first time. Both esoteric and esoteric parts seemed the same, in fact, everything seemed to have the same quality (me, the sound of the birds, my breathing, my son playing downstairs etc) and all of it was arising from the same place – here, as in the one centre of arising. Started with a sense that it was all happening “in my head” but it moved from that into “here”. Hard to articulate. I feel something has changed in me since finishing Catafalque, completed by watching the fourth Anniversary talk this morning. Acceptance and understanding of what and where I am. And what my function is. An acceptance that I and the world are condemned. “Illuminated only by tears” The second-half moment of the drug experience. Not accepting it overturns it into a nightmare.
DAY 5 – 05/10/2020
STAR RUBY15:30 pm-
Fluffed the first line and decided to reset and start again. The whole thing felt a bit off. Never really got in the zone. Meditation afterwards was super sleepy.
MEDITATION – FIRE 30 MINS Went into this one trying not to desire another experience like yesterday as I am aware that wanting experiences is a great way of keeping the far east from you. It was deep, and parts were good but I did not achieve the third stage of the practice. I was sleepy and dozed off a few times. There was a sense of calm to it all, apart from when I noticed I had drifted off and then my breathing would instantly change to a sort of panic breath.
DAY 6 – 06/10/2020
STAR RUBY -10:35 am
Again, didn’t seem to get fully in the groove with it. Had a moment of hesitation around the Guardians where I started to over think and then completely forget what they represented. The ritual definetly seems to be having an effect on my meditation as I get into deep trance very quickly now. Still having issues with my digestive system and I am WAY more regular than normal.
MEDITATION – FIRE 30 MINS
Zoned out quite quickly and was in and out if mild sleep. Some vision stuff but nothing I can recall once the meditation bell chimed. If I get time ill do another one. Trying not to crave or demand a result from the practice cos that like the obvious trap to fall into, I guess, but probably am a bit. Maybe I should switch to Beloved or Underworld for a few days which would rule out any lust of result,
MEDITATION – FIRE 30 MINS
I was going to do Underworld today’s as a remedy for my lust of result for the same result as a few days ago – but I thought it is best just to do what you set out to do and see the craving as just another appearance in the fire. Lots of visuals in this one where I was walking or floating through lots of different buildings. People talking to me, walking with me, but its as if their words just passed through me and while I understood them at the time they didn’t register at all in my memory. Their words disappeared as soon as they said them.
Near the end there was one guy who had a bike, who I managed to ask “WHo are you?” and he turned into Dart Vader. I asked him why he had a bike, and he said “Is it a bike?” and I looked and it was a bike. Likely just daydreams. I did have one Shadow present itself, and it took me a while to notice that I was playing out the role in my mind’s eye, even extending it past the actual event/ drama. So, at least I now have another Shadow to bind. I invited it in and told him to have a chair by the fire, so I could have a good look at it.
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