I see you.


Hello Good People of the Internet!

I hope the new year brings you much joy and satisfaction! May it be your best one yet!

Welcome to another AIWW Newsletter. I am so appreciative of all the kind words I have received since the launch  - you are all wonderful people!

Anyway, this time we start with a Divination & then some news. That's followed by the main section about darkness and feeling hopeless, and then we end with some quick thoughts about the media I have been consuming lately.

If you have any ideas or comments about the Newsletter, just hit reply to this Newsletter and send me an email. Or use the Social Media info down below to find me in all the usual places.

Now, let's get to this divination...


So, this is a three card reading using The Forty Servants which pertains to the period between this Newsletter and the release of the next one, whenever that may be. The question this time is:



Forty Servants Reading

"What you surround yourself with should be both practical and useful, but it should also be nourishing and improve your sense of being."

Solid advice from the Servants as always. And now  - the News!



Just to say thank you for reading the newsletter here is a coupon code to get 25% off all the various versions of the Forty Servants decks throughout January. Use JanuaryServants at checkout over on GameCrafter to get the discount


TaSTA now has its own dedicated feed separate from the main AIWW podcast feed. It should be available in all the usual places by now, but if you want the video versions, then the Spotify feed is the one to go for. All future episodes will be on this feed and I will be removing the episodes from the AIWW Feed in a couple of weeks.




As part of Spud's day job he writes Newsletters for other people, so he's gotten pretty good at doing them. If you want to sign up to his own recently launched Newsletter then click HERE!


And that's all the News. Let's now move onto something completely different...

In writing these essays, I always aim to talk about myself and my personal experiences rather than try to speak for everyone or in generalities. I know my experiences aren't in any way unique, but I also know that they're not universal. Therefore I don't want to try to convince you that my thoughts or conclusions from my experiences are the correct ones for you.

Please know that I am not trying to convince you of the realness of my truth. I am not trying to convince you of anything. I feel that you should always follow your own guidance system and not anyone else's, no matter how alluring that outside voice may be.

That said, I also realise that the point of a newsletter like this can't just be for me to talk to myself about myself, all the while patting myself on the back for agreeing wholeheartedly with myself. As rewarding as that may be for me, I can't imagine it would interest most of you.

So, when I decided I wanted to write a piece about hopelessness, I hesitated. The reason I hesitated is that I have felt somewhat out of sync with my contemporaries and compatriots of late, and I didn't want to write something that accentuates or exacerbates that.

But as it turns out, I don't have to worry about this, as one of the first things I saw on Twitter this morning was this tweet from a friend: "I gotta admit I'm struggling extra much with this feeling of hopelessness at the moment. All the things I love to do seems absolutely pointless for some reason."

And this is what I want to talk about today, as I know exactly how he feels.



Dukkha -the word often translated as "suffering"- can also be (maybe more correctly) translated as a wheel's axel being off-centre, misaligned in some way, or something equivalent.

It's a bit like a trolley cart where one of the wheels is annoyingly and aggressively doing its own thing.

And this I can get behind more than a general "Life Is Suffering". Because life isn't all suffering, is it? It is a bit like a dodgy trolley, though.

Mostly, my suffering doesn't stem from the inevitable traumas of life, such as birth, sickness, and death - though I'm not a fan.

My main source of suffering from the things and events that should work, that can work, that work for other people, that worked fine yesterday, but for no reason whatsoever when I try to engage with it to do something of personal value, don't work now.

It's the knowledge that my life could all so easily be great - but isn't, and the reason it isn't is something that could actually and easily happen.

It's the sense that attempting to create, or display a full expression of myself, is being deliberately made much harder than needed for no good reason.

It's in feeling that the process of achieving something is so full of unneeded setbacks, hassles, pointless holdups, and frustrations that even when I ultimately achieve my goal, the joy has entirely been sucked from it.

It's events where I have done everything correctly, everything is as it should be, and all the bits are in the places they need to be, but it still doesn't work.

And it never turns out to be some great learning experience or some hard experience that I ultimately become a better person from - no, it just sucks for no reason.

It's almost like a malevolent force acting against me that wants me to feel hopeless, that everything is pointless, and that I should give up.

And it's not just me catastrophising things, nor making mountains out of molehills, or me exaggerating. People close to me can see these things happening in real-time, as they happen. It's weird.

Besides, I've heard several people share very similar stories, so I know I'm not alone... or weird.

So what is this thing? What is the cause of this suffering? What does it feel, particularly with regard to doing creative work, that the difficulty level is set to VERY HARD as soon as you aim to do something meaningful? What is the cause? What would it want? What can I do about it?


AIWW despair meme



I have always been a person that things would break when I was around. If you aren't one of those people (a lot of creative people are, it appears), then I'm guessing you know someone who is.

I know when I attempt something creative that there will be some push back. It's often a relief when it happens early because the "bad luck" is now out of the way, and I can get on with whatever I am trying to do.

And this has periods when it is more pronounced and times when it's almost absent.

But last year was very different.

It was so much more pronounced, so much more intense. And the tide stayed in for a lot longer than it ever had previously.

I could go deep into describing all of the shitty events of last year, but honestly, the events themselves don't really matter. If I gave you examples of an individual event, it is unlikely to impress you as anything other than just a little bit of bad luck.

It was the combined impact of all the events that was the issue. It was the relentlessness of it all. It was the ubiquitousness.

Every single fucking day, something new seemed to break, go wrong, or fall apart. Everything around me, even the air, seemed thick, hostile, and oppressive.

Everything, including very simple everyday tasks, felt much, much harder to do, and even if I managed to do anything creative at all, it felt like it was responded to by swift punishment rather than reward.

It got to the point, and I'm not being hyperbolic here, that one morning I was so afraid to switch on my computer because it was the last thing around me that hadn't broken, or had a major problem, that I just sat numbly looking at the switch for about half an hour.

In fairness, it switched on fine, but it took a WAY longer time than usual to do so as if it was trying its fucking best to break - the prick!

After a few months of battle, I wanted to give up on everything.

Everything felt hopeless and pointless. There was no reward for doing anything - just punishment. Just darkness and no hope for anything other than more darkness.

I felt defeated.
At one point, I was lying crying on the office floor, totally in despair, and I screamed out, "Is this what you want? Do you want me to quit? Do you want me just to give up? Is that what you want?"

And I heard a distinct and terrible voice in my head snarl, "YES..."



But clearly, I didn't give up.

I did make a number of changes, though. I knew that the feeling of "burn it all to the ground" was probably not the best way forward, as I have been there before, and I know it passes.

But I knew I had to do something.

I did a lot of clearing and banishing magic - I mean A LOT! I also removed myself energetically from some situations, events, and people. I took an extended break from the vlogs and podcasts, and generally tried to go a bit easier on myself. My mantra at the time was "Do whatever it takes to keep going", which often manifested as taking time off to walk in a forest, play guitar, or do nothing.

But most importantly, I continued as much as possible to make my art.

And it wasn't easy. It was probably the darkest time of my life, and Christ, without aiming to be melodramatic (and probably failing), I've had some fucking very dark periods.

And it's all too easy to give into the darkness. Way too easy.

I used to think that this sort of "bad luck" or "Push back" stuff was a test to see if I wanted the thing enough, but I don't feel that is the case anymore.

I have become pretty obsessed with directionality over the last while. My current hypothesis is that this pushback happens because a forward motion is meeting a backward motion. The backward motion has more momentum because it has been moving longer. But the forward motion can win if it has more tenacity.

And having the tenacity to get up and face the backward motion is tough, as you are literally going against the tide.

Get knocked down enough, and I can feel the battle is not worth fighting. I can start to feel that it is hopeless and pointless. I can begin to agree with the doomsayers that this world is inherently bad, or against you, or prison or punishment - or created by an angry false god who hates you.

If the Universe is all heading towards entropy, as I have been reliably told, then forward motions like art, music, magic, and dance are the opposite movement and attempting them is not going to come without friction.

It's easier to give into the darkness than to fight it.

And crying on my office floor, I could have given in to it. I could have easily given up the fight or given up on myself, on magic, art, and the world.


I could have let myself be consumed by the persuading darkness. I very almost did.

But I didn't.

No, what I did instead was whisper at first and then gradually shout, "I fucking see you, Mara!"

I see you.

When the man who became The Buddha sat under the Bodhi Tree to resolutely find the answers he was looking for, the demon Mara came and tried to obstruct him on his path by trying to get him to doubt himself. But the future Buddha stayed through to his mission and kept going.

After his Enlightenment, Mara occasionally appeared to spread panic, despair, and fear among the people gathered around. But Buddha stayed centred and put his hand on the ground and said:

"I see you, Mara."

And in seeing the demon, he rendered him powerless.


AIWW buddha



So what does the opposite movement from the darkness look like in the real world?

There is so much of the world that we can never hope to fix or even have any say in. I would even go so far as to suggest it probably can't be fixed - but that's a feature, not a bug.


Instead of despairing at the world, I try to improve my sphere of influence. To become a radiant beacon of light in the darkness of my garden. A lighthouse on the coast of my domain.

Or, as I have said many times - To tend to the part of the garden I can reach.


By that, I mean I aim to be a better Dad, a better husband, a better son, a better brother, and a better friend. To fix all the things I can fix and ultimately add more light than darkness in all my interactions.

I aim to be kind to myself. Stand up for myself when I need to and love myself - that is probably the hardest bit.

And I aim to recognise Mara when I see him, not let his temptations persuade me, and always reject darkness, doom, and despair as much as I can.

And all of this is very challenging, particularly with the downward trend in Magic and Spiritual circles towards conspirituality, doomsaying, anger and resentment - all with a strange frothing at the mouth feverish glee at the thoughts of the imminent collapse of civilisation.


Many seem so utterly beguiled and enchanted by the darkness, and I can understand why - the darkness is very alluring, and the fight against it is very hard, but it's a fight worth fighting.

And if you feel the same, then let's run through the night until we find the day.

And let's make our art, let's dance our dances, let's sing our songs, let's write our hearts out. Let's move forward and create some friction.

Let's never let the darkness win.



And to end, let's ask the question: what would a good practical magical response be to the snapback that occurs when trying to do something meaningful or creative? What would be the best magical retaliation to the darkness places obstacles and hindrances in the way?

If only there was some sort of God that removed obstacles...

Om Gam Ganapataye Namaha

AIWW Consumption




Derek DelGaudio's In & Of Itself


Derek DelGaudio's In & Of Itself



We talked about this previously on an episode of TaSTA, but over the Christmas period, I rewatched it with my Wife, who had never seen it. And we both loved it.

I don't really want to talk about it because if you've seen it, you know how utterly breathtaking it is, and if you haven't seen it, then my saying anything about it might take away from your experience, and I wouldn't want that for you.

All I will say is that it feels like one of those moments when someone is talking directly to the greater part of you, and while you have some sense of what is being talked about superficially you quickly become aware that something more is been talked about.

Or at least that was my experience of it. Other people I talked to about it had similar experiences too.

This one absolutely gets a 10 on the Peter Kingsley scale.



The Flowering Wand: Rewilding the Sacred Masculine


The Flowering Wand: Rewilding the Sacred Masculine
By Sophie Strand

This book was a Christmas present that Roman very generously bought me from my Amazon Book list. I think I initially saw it on Twitter and liked the look of the cover, and upon further inspection, I thought the book blurb sounded very interesting. When I came across it, it was months from its publication date but I added to the book list all the same.

And I'm so glad I did as I absolutely loved it. It arrived just at exactly the perfect time - almost by magic. Patrick Harpur's Daimonic Reality was another such book that arrived precisely when I needed it.


In many ways, this is the book that I hoped Gordon White wrote but sadly didn't. It's the animism and connection to the Gods that I have been seeking for some time now. Strand's tarot correspondences are fantastic, and her descriptions of Orpheus and Dionyious are immensely pleasing and useful. I really like how she describes creation as mycelium.

The highest compliment I can pay this book is that as soon as I finished it, I wanted to start it again.

Incidentally, this book, and its audiobook version, are available over on Scribd. If you want to check it out, you can use my referral link where you get 60 days of free ebooks and audiobooks, and I get 30 days free https://www.scribd.com/g/4b55wp  Scribd, despite its terrible name and dodgy past, is actually really good these days and certainly worth checking out for the free two months. Lots of Magick, Occult, Esoteric, Philosophy etc., on it, along with any amount of fiction.




Darshan Ambient

A Day Within Days


A track from this album was part of an Ambient Playlist on Spotify and I liked it enough to seek out more. It has a lovely balance between ambience and motion, with a haunting introspective feel combined with a hint of loneliness that still contains hope.



And that's it for another AIWW Newsletter, I hope you got something from it. If you'd like to chat about you can hit reply to this email or come find me over on Discord.

If you would like to support me in doing all the things I do, then feel free to join the PATREON, Buy me a BOOK, Buy a PRINT, Buy a FORTY SERVANTS deck, or just send me some money via PAYPAL.

So, until next time,


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Tommie Kelly
County Louth, Ireland.