I am sitting on a moss-covered rock that is jutting out of a small cliff overlooking a petit waterfall flowing into a rocky stream. The truly magical Ravensdale forest surrounds me on this bright dry morning. This is one of the two places on this planet where I don’t feel like I am a stranger in a strange land. When the time comes I want my ashes to be scattered here.
I am sitting in silence now, below the sparse canopy of mostly pine trees, but moments earlier I had disturbed the gentle forest hum with my spoken words. I love to speak to these old wise trees, they often show me things that I am unable to grasp on my own. This time however I had been shouting, pleading, and spilling my guts. And while they listened patiently, we both knew that it was someone else I should be talking to.
It turns out I am angry at my Angel. The Baptist’s Head had revealed this to me the day previous. I am angry at her for not showing up, for not fixing my life, for not protecting me, for not helping me, for leaving me alone when I needed her most.
I am angry because the entire relationship feels so utterly pointless.
I call out one last time to her saying now would be a great time to show yourself, but deep in my heart, I feel it won’t happen.
A startling sound to my right and as I turn, I notice a horned headed face looking directly at me from within the trees. I say “Well, hello there!” and the Angel sounds gently and lovingly in my head “Don’t ever say I have never shown up for you.“
In my post last week, I spoke about the many syncs I’ve had noticed surrounding the sense that I feel like an intruder in this world – that this place is for other people and not me. I even went as far as to entertain some quite woo notions about being a being from another planet here to somehow save humanity – despite the fact that I seem quite incapable of even saving myself for the most part.
Since then I have had a few interesting syncs, a few great conversations, and some deep insights.
The first sync was in my reading of Peter Grey’s The Red Goddess, a book that I have meant to read for years but just never got round to it. The night after I posted the blog (which if you remember, included my thoughts around the connection between Roses, Blood, and the Divine) I open the book to find that the very next chapter is called Blood Red Roses which details the history of the Rose in occult and religious thought and how the modern-day magician can use the rose in their workings. Lots of talk of blood talk too.
Interesting sync for sure, but not the only Peter Grey sync this week.
When I finished The Red Goddess I started to re-read Apocalyptic Witchcraft, which I had read when it came out but didn’t click with at all – to be honest, I’m not even sure I finished it. This time, however, I’m enjoying it a lot more, mostly because I am now firmly in the groove with Grey’s writing style having just read The Two Antichrists and The Red Goddess back to back. I am enjoying spending time in his head, even if I feel we are on quite different paths in many ways. I enjoy his passion.
Anyway, early in the book, he writes about the Witch as “the other, the foreigner…”, an outsider who is never really allowed into proper society but must always stay at the edges of civilisation. This is both her power and her curse, I suppose. Being an outsider has its benefits as well as its hardships. Grey even references “Stranger in a Strange Land” which I had also stolen from Heinlein for the title of my own post. Fun!
This got me thinking about how this archetype of the Witch could sit happily within the description of my feelings of alienation. Being a Witch certainly feels much more acceptable to me than notions of being a Star Child here on a special mission. The Witch feels more grounded in (to?) reality and offers a return to the physical earth rather than a continued venture out to the great cosmic realms.
As I have mentioned recently on a vlog, I have definitely felt a calling, and a need, to have a more physical based element to my spirituality. In some ways, it feels like magic is calling me back from the stars and saying that you don’t need to be from another planet to feel like an outsider – there is a whole history of witches right here on planet Earth that aligns in many ways with my symptoms and description.
Growing up in Ireland I knew next to no one who was into this sort of woo stuff. In fact, it was mostly the opposite. Rather than people being neutral or uncaring about it, most people I seemed to fall in company with had in fact a very negative and often angry response to spiritual ideas. I felt like something I wasn’t allowed to talk about, or worse it was something to be shameful about – certainly something I should hide to avoid being verbally attacked or mocked.
My magic studies became something I did in the darkness, on my own, away from the world. I hid my books, I hid my interests, hoping no one would “find me out”. Unlike the Witches who kept quiet save they be burnt for their heresies, I was keeping quiet to save ridicule and embarrassment. “Do you actually fucking believe in that bullshit?” were the magic words that bound me to silence. To believe in woo was to be an idiot, the attacks were always an attack on my intelligence.
It’s understandable, isn’t it, how this added more fuel to my feelings of not belonging.
That said, I did have a brief flirtation with being somewhat open with my witchcrafting in my twenties while I was at college studying Holistic Health Care, where I learned reiki, aromatherapy, reflexology etc. I really enjoyed Aromatherapy, and still do, as it makes me feel quite witchy and magic. My magic bottles of plant potions that I could use for healing or for harm. I love the materia of witchcraft – the incenses, the plants, the herbs rocks, crystals. I love the Moon and often talk to it. The moon feels like an ally. I love the idea of the magic cottage in the dark part of the forest. I love the whole witchy thing.
I even once described myself as a Witch out loud to another person, just to try it on and see what the reaction would be. They just looked at me like I was a fucking idiot.
And I think that is why I just couldn’t fully commit to the whole witchcraft thing. It felt like I had no right to it. I felt it belonged to other people. To special people. Real witches. And for me to claim myself as a witch was a pretence, a fraud, or a LARP. And that made me feel dumb. I felt that I just wasn’t sufficiently robust to defend myself against what felt like direct attacks on my intelligence. I just wanted to belong. Are we seeing a pattern here?
So I let go of Witchcraft – in fact, I let go of all things magic, spiritual, healing, and woo. The whole thing just felt utterly stupid and I couldn’t believe I had wasted my time believing in this crap.
And that lasted a few years actually. Of all things The Secret pulled me back in, and from there to Chaos Magic, and from Chaos Magic to whatever it is now that I do.
I allowed myself the title of Wizard as it was more acceptable to me than Witch because there is an element of poking fun at myself in it- “I’m a wizard“, I can tell people, “But, its fine I’m not really being serious, let’s all laugh together at me and my wizard woo”.
To be honest, I find my form and description of Chaos Magic is somewhat just a handy get-out clause where I can easily say “Well, I don’t take it that seriously. I just act as if it’s real, mostly as a thought experiment. Just a fun way to look at the world.” If things get too heated and I am about to be found out, I can easily pass it off as a bit of a funny eccentricity. “I’m an artist, ya know – we’re a bit weird…”
But that is beginning to fall apart as I can now recognise it as part of my shadow. It’s me not standing up for myself and what I believe to be true about the world. That and me feeling I am less than other people. That I must live up to their norms.
Calling myself a Witch wasn’t LARPing – jokingly calling myself a Wizard to be acceptable to others is fucking LARPing!
When I was a child one of my favourite places in the world, and one of the very few places where I felt safe and welcomed, was the small garden shed in the backyard of my parent’s house.
I would spend hours out there just sitting, dreaming, imagining – looking at the rain from the open door. It was my refugee or my sanctuary away from the real world of parents, friends, and big sister.
A place where I could just be me.
A place where no one could tell me what to do or what to think, or what to believe, or who to be. And now nearly 40 years later I realise that I have rebuilt that same sanctuary in the garden of my own house, and for the exact same reasons – as an escape from them and the world. My office is the second of the two places on this planet where I don’t feel like I am a stranger in a strange land.
You see, I have never felt like I had a home.
My family home always felt like my parents and my sisters home, and when my parents split up my dad’s new houses never remotely felt like home. My mum stayed in the old family house but it immediately became entirely her house even when I moved back in at one point in my early twenties.
I lived in lots of houses, apartments, and flats over the years and only once did I ever feel that I was in my own private space.
It was the first time I managed to live in a house on my own, it was for a few months, but it was heaven.
I remember one very woo experience in this house of just been totally overwhelmed with a sense of intense joy – so much so that I had to collapse on the bed before I fell down. The thought “I did it, I did it” just repeating over and over in my head. I had a sense that somehow this had all happened before but previous attempts had failed and there was an intense joy that this time I had made it. Not sure what else to tell you, I don’t know what that means either. It’s the most intense positive sensation I have ever had. It happened once more a few weeks later in this house, but never since.
My current house that I share with my wife and son sadly has never felt like my home either. It always felts like my wife’s house. These days a lot of the rooms in the house have been taken up by my Wife’s preschool business, but even before that I just never felt it was my home. There are any number of reasons I could give you for this, and I suppose a lot of them are true, but it’s so obvious there is a bigger pattern here that the specific content of a single piece of the hologram doesn’t really matter.
I feel so much of an interloper that I even feel I’m a trespasser in my own home.
Its shadows all the way down.
THE BAPTIST’S HEAD
The Baptist’s Head in question is Duncan Barford, and we had a conversation a few days ago which was a huge eye-opener for me. In fairness, every conversation with Duncan is a huge eye-opener for me but this one is still very much resonating and vibrating with me, and I suspect will take me a while to fully unpack.
Among a thousand wise words, he offered me two major insights. One that absolutely cut to the heart of the problem, and one that revealed how the problem is defending itself – and how it looks like coming to an end.
I’ll start with the second insight first.
Duncan is a Wizard, but he is also a therapist so he has access to a very wide approach to human problems that I find very helpful. He can easily switch from the exoteric to the esoteric depending on what might work for what is being discussed. He is not my therapist, and this wasn’t a therapy session but this type of heavy insight stuff is bound to slip through given the nature of the things we talk about.
He offered the idea that my notion of me being from outer space is because the whole idea of me feeling I don’t belong is about to crumble and fall apart. This complex/ shadow/ idea had to go cosmic in proportions in other to survive. It’s on the run and has to fabricate a bigger and more out there story for itself in order to survive. Of course, it now can’t get any bigger. It’s literally placed itself on the other side of the galaxy.
So it would have started in my family life as a child where I felt I wasn’t wanted or didn’t belong and then grew wider as my social circles grew and I still didn’t feel I fit in. It then grew even wider again as my understanding of magic, spirituality and all of creation deepened and expanded – It had to in order to exist. Now it’s at the point that it’s so big that it needs the entire universe to justify itself. It literally has nowhere else it can go, so now all it can do is fall apart as the fabrication is really is.
Why? Because, and as Duncan lovingly reminded me – of course, I belong. We all do. We just have to accept it and I clearly don’t. But it’s becoming obvious that I am not going to be able to sustain that falsehood for much longer. Or at least that’s my hope. My prayer.
The second insight is much tougher and I am nowhere near fully unpacked with it. This will take some time.
I was getting quite irate at one point in the conversation saying a few different variations of “What is the point of all this stuff if it doesn’t fix my life?”. Duncan very calmly but very directly pointed out that there was a lot of anger going on there towards something and that I seem to be taking it out on my HGA.
I had no defence, no comeback – I was absolutely seen.
So this is the part of the movie where we return to the opening scene.
Yesterday in the forest I walked and told the trees exactly how I was feeling. I was trying to make sense of it all, put it all together, and maybe get some sort of resolution -or even just some idea of how to move forward with it in some way. I recognised that I am angry but I didn’t know exactly why or at who.
From the silence came the sentence “All of this is part of the process of inviting the Damaged Self to come home”.
I understood immediately and it all made sense. A few months ago I had a very profound experience in this forest where I saw my poor Damaged Self and my poor terrified Inner Child before me. I told them both to come back home into my heart. I have a whole video on it here. It was an immensely powerful experience at the time that had seemed to ultimately just go no further.
But it is now clear that all this anger coming out is the Damaged Self on his way home trying to understand why it is what it is. It is trying to find its place within me just as I am trying to find my place within creation. Micro and macro.
So I let him talk.
We told each other how angry we are, how resentful we are, how unfair we feel it all is, and how powerless we feel to change any of it because we feel we have no say in anything. Truth belongs to those who have the power and we have no access to power. Or truth. And the others get to do what they want. A wave of very powerful, overwhelming and all-encompassing anger towards everything was felt and expressed.
We also acknowledged how very sad, how very alone, and absolutely terrified we are. That I am – to return it to a non-dual form.
I fell into silence and I called out loud to my HGA that now of all times I need you, that if you were ever to show up now would be the time! But I didn’t really expect it.
My mind, or something else, said back to me “I will show up, but you will be terrified!” and I said bring it on!
And then I just sat down in silence on a moss-covered rock that is jutting out of a small cliff overlooking a petit waterfall flowing into a rocky stream.
And she did show up, and I was terrified.
Lots of strange, ominous calls and noises came from the forest as I walked towards the deer – primal animal calls, but also something otherworldly. I didn’t know whether I was to follow the deer or not but I did anyway. I battled my fear (fear of it possibly being an angel but also it’s a fucking wild animal and what the fuck would I do if it attacked me – do deers attack people??? ) I moved forward towards the deer but it ran further into the forest.
Ahead in a darker thicker part of the forest, I saw the sun shine down in a beam through the ceiling and light up a small area where a tree had died and was now turning to mulch. I felt I needed to dig down into the wood mulch and within the soft deadwood I removed a small but hard piece of wood that I instantly knew I had to dry and use as incense.
It was a gift. An offering that would in turn become an offering returned. Gebo, a gift that connects things.
As I turned to go home I saw the deer once more – she had been watching me dig. We locked eyes briefly and she then bolted back into the forest. I returned to my car.
Now I know some people would say all I saw was a common, quite natural deer, that I am making far too much out of it and, as usual, I’m reading far too deeply into it.
But I am a Wizard – HA! I AM A WITCH!, and I choose to live in an enchanted world. And in this world, there is an enchanted forest where sometimes the deers are also Angels.
Until next time – Be well!
– Witch Cottage Art by Dustycrosely
If you want to help me out and allow me to continue doing what I do or to level up, then there are a number of ways you can do so. Obviously, there is no obligation or pressure to do so, but if you do I thank you from the bottom of my heart!
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