BACK IN BLACK.
I was at Melifont Abbey last Sunday, which is home to where I had one of the most profound spiritual experiences of my life. I've mentioned it a number of times on the Vlog/podcast before —it's the "Every tree is the tree the Buddha sat under, and every Garden is the Garden of Gethsemane" one— but I'll talk more about it in a subsequent newsletter, I just don't have the space for it now.
Anyway, I've been back to this Monastery many times since – it has an amazing garden in it called the "Paradise Garden", and it is truly lovely.
This last time, however, I could see it recently had been pretty severely pruned and cut back —I assume for its own good health, and I couldn't help feeling that this in some way echoed the pruning and cutting back I have done to myself over the last few months. Hopefully, for my good health too.
While walking up the forest path close to the garden, I noticed a sign which read "Oasis of Peace" and pointed to a side road going left. This immediately struck me as something to pay close attention to. Why? Because something in it made me think of BLACK.
I haven't really given my experience with BLACK much thought over the last while, for reasons stated below, but one of the final lines of the Communication started churning in my head:
"I just know why it hurts, Tommie, and there is relief at the Oasis. An offer direct."
So I was like, hmmm. Is this place what that line is referencing? Is the relief offered to be found here? The building itself was a community centre that seems to host casual but very religious meetings over coffee. Was I meant to join? Is this even what BLACK was going on about? Is BLACK even real? Am I even real?
Perplexed, I went into the church and lit a candle while asking for a sign if this indeed is the place BLACK was talking about —please and thank you!
I really didn't think much about it. If there were to be an answer, it would probably come much later, I felt, so I immediately put it out of my mind.
Not five minutes later, we are walking out of a field through a gate, and I hear Venessa, my wife, telling my son, "Here's the black spot. This is the sign". She was pointing at a road sign and was referring to a conversation earlier where my son was asking about what some of the road signs meant.
I was like, "Wow, that's fucking amazing". This was by far the quickest, most direct answer I have ever had when asking for a sign.
But then I looked at the road sign, and it was a DANGER SIGN. I laughed and turned around, and the next thing I see is a sign that says "BEWARE OF BULL".
MAN IN BLACK?
For those unaware, BLACK is the name of an entity that Spud and I contacted at the beginning of last year, who claimed he was a Secret Chief. Over the next 100 days or so, we contacted him six times in total, both by ourselves and with the help of other people, including Jason Mendel, Duncan Barford and Marco Visconti. Here are the timeline and links:
The BLACK Communications Timeline
MARCH 3rd 2022 - The Introduction
MARCH 23rd 2022 - The Six Petals
MARCH 29th 2022 - The Dawn Ritual
APRIL 14th 2022 - Spud's Inquieries
MAY 25th 2022 - The Ultraterrestrial Hunt
JUNE 13th 2022 - Three Questions for Black.
Honestly, it feels more correct to say we contacted him five times rather than six because one of the sessions —The UItraterrestrial Hunt (UTH from now on)— doesn't feel like a legit communication with him to me. I'm not really sure what we were communicating with in that one —possibly a number of different entities. However, BLACK does reference the session in other communications, which is why I'll include it here.
As I have mentioned before, last year was pretty hellish, and I feel now that perhaps BLACK quite possibly suffered from me throwing the baby out with the bath water. I really regret being part of the Ultraterrestrial Hunt, and it is probably the only thing in my magical career I regret so far.
The whole thing was a bad idea for me.
Calling up the Secret Chiefs to ask them about a TV show that I don't really care about? Dumb.
Doing a public ritual that involved way, way too many participants? Dumb.
Agreeing to lead it at the very last minute? Dumb.
Handing over the truth of what it all meant to outside influences afterwards? Dumb (but very classic Tommie).
Allowing the resulting drama to drain my already drained resources? Dumb.
But to be fair, I had already felt drained from the very moment it ended.
I felt like some of my own personal life energy had been used as fuel to run the ritual - in a way I wasn't remotely prepared for at all. I felt like I had been part of something "bad" —something that really hadn't been good for me. Something that had taken something from me.
And I want to point out that I am in no way blaming anyone for this. No one was the cause of this; it just was a bad idea to begin with. The premise was faulty from the start.
I feel I didn't take the dangers of such an endeavour seriously enough, and I got bitten in the ass because of it —energetically and emotionally. I felt drained by it and energetically tied to it for months afterwards.
Even though there had been much better and more positive communication with BLACK a couple of weeks afterwards, I really didn't even want to think about it at all. The whole thing made me feel icky. And as the surrounding drama increased over the subsequent months, I felt I just wanted to banish the whole experience entirely. All of it. The good, the bad, the mystical, the drama, and the nonsensical.
And I did. And I have to say there was an immediate sense of relief and release.
Now, I am not claiming the UTH or the BLACK communications were the sole reason for everything that went wrong last year —there were many factors involved— but it certainly was a significant factor.
And despite the extensive banishing, clearing, and warding I did over the last half of the year, it didn't feel entirely finished until I banished BLACK and smashed a glass with his symbol on it that I had used to light candles in. It felt like breaking the glass after a bad Ouija experience.
But was it BLACK I needed to banish or just the energy of the UTH and the surrounding drama?
THE ANSWER IS NONE MORE BLACK
The experience last Sunday in the Abbey made me want to look at the BLACK Communications again.
It has been over 7 months since the last session, and while much noise had happened in the meantime, I felt I could now look at the communications with fresh eyes.
I decided that the best approach was to consider the communications as a unit, not as separate events. And wow, once I looked at it this way, a lot of stuff that I didn't previously get started to really come into focus.
If there was something I didn't understand —say a number or a symbol— rather than trying to look it up elsewhere or work it out myself, I looked to see if the communications themselves mentioned it anywhere else. It was then evident that the Communications were extremely self-referential, and everything needed to unlock the meaning was contained within them.
There is so much going on with them, and I have come to understand so much more about what is contained in the communications over the last couple of days that I am struggling to know where is the best place to start going through it all here in this essay.
It is clear to me that the communications were working backwards and forwards in time. They have an obvious superficial level, but when I looked closer, many deeper levels appeared.
These deeper levels become very clear when you remove all the noise and look only at what BLACK said and not all the chatter over it. The Communication appears to be talking about different things to different people simultaneously —yet using the same words.
Very, very cool.
And to me, at least, very convincing of something actually happening here other than randomness.
In the end, I've decided to take one aspect and work back from there, showing where all the points cross. Also, I'm only going to focus on how the Communications directly relate to me.
THE END IS THE BEGINNING IS THE END
In the final Communication with BLACK, I felt the best approach was to ask a question and then just shut up and listen. Previously sessions had been mostly us talking over each other and asking way too many questions, and the whole thing was largely incoherent.
My question and the answer were as follows:
What should I know?
Oh, Tommie, everything! ( laughter.)
Will you be satisfied? You're good, great even. You'll find yourself. Restrictions apply. One needs to pull together. I know it sounds fucked up.
1 and 2 in safety. It's a party!
Let's give you having to deal with the confusion a break. It's all grand, just back up 100 out of the basement. Erect your soul in the light. Don't worry about what that means. Just take my hand; you're going to be proud of yourself.
I just know why it hurts, Tommie, and there is relief at the Oasis. An offer direct.
So, let's unpack this.
The first line is self-evidently a gentle humourous poke at the question asked, but it is followed with "Will you be satisfied?".
Even if I was told everything I wanted to know would I be satisfied with the answer? Is what I am looking for actually something that can be satisfied by knowledge alone? The answer is —probably not. Experience is more important than knowledge.
"You're good, great even." This one I struggle with because I feel it's playing to my ego a bit, or at least that's how I initally took it.
My main feelings for days after this session were that I was told precisely what I wanted to hear and that I were being seduced into thinking I was special or "chosen". This is a huge trigger for me, as I have witnessed so many people falling for the Specialness Trap or feeling they are some form of the "Chosen One".
Besides, the whole notion that you can just hang out on zoom with a broken radio, a blindfold, some questions and then a representative from The Secret Chiefs will turn up for a chat— isn't that a bit hard to believe? Unless of course, you think you are in someway special or chosen?
It's certainly dangerous territory.
But, I also know that swinging the pendulum in the opposite direction is possibly just as bad. That usually ends me up in Spiritual Imposter Syndrome territory, where I dismiss every Insight, Awakening, Darsana, or result from Magic as nothing of significance because who am I to have such an experience? Why would that happen to me?
That all said, looking back to the first Communication, BLACK had already said something quite similar to me:
"North, Tommie, now you're on. But anyway, it means you're good enough. Head it off. That works. That would be good enough. Hey, don't hurt, It's here." (Emphasis mine). And then proceeded to pretty much nail what my reaction to his final message would be, "What the fuck, hey guys, no. Don't lie to me. See ya!" —I feel seen.
"North, Tommie, now you're on." - North here, I suspect, refers to my True North —my true path, my correct orientation, my True Will etc. And BLACK, I feel, reckons I am now on it.
"Head it off. That works" – could be related to "Being Headless" method created by Douglas Harding, which I found very insightful and opened up some insight for me.
It certainly does work.
The next bit, "You'll find yourself. Restrictions apply. One needs to pull together." I feel is talking about my recent Reclaiming Workings around restoring parts of myself that I have given away or left behind in the past.
I do indeed need to find myself, restrictions certainly do apply, and I do need to pull together and reclaim all my separated bits.
"I know it sounds fucked up", I'm not sure about as yet, as the previous sentence doesn't sound fucked up to me. Perhaps the suggestion is that things only seem worse than they are —it sounds fucked up, but isn't. I'll let this one stew for a while.
"1 and 2 in safety. It's a party!" This line seems to give instructions on the best approach for me to call on him in the future to avoid making the same mistake as the UTH.
The 1 is me, and no more than 2 others should be involved to keep it safe. "Party" probably means "A group of people who have gathered to participate in an activity." rather than a celebration. Or it could mean both. Why not both?
"Let's give you having to deal with the confusion a break.". Yea, BLACK, I'm happy with that deal whenever you are.
"It's all grand, just back up 100 out of the basement." There is a lot in this one. What exactly is 100 referring to? I tried unsuccessfully to work it out at the time, but some hints were already mentioned a couple of times previously in the communications, it turns out.
Firstly, in the UTH, "9 and 1. It's bigger than just a lamp. As they conjure, a storm comes. 100."
Then, "Hey, a new problem, you need to ground yourself at home – Life insurance! And don't forget to sing, 100 means double in the arts."
So, we have two clues as to what 100 could mean.
The first line, to my ears at least, seems like a clear pointer to Magia. Both "Lamp" and "Storm" are key symbols in Magia. And you could, perhaps unsuccessfully, argue that "conjure" is another word for "Magic" and "Magia" translates to "Magic" in at least Italian, Spanish and Portuguese. So, I feel pretty confident in thinking this line is referencing Magia, at least from my vantage point.
This line suggests to me that the 100 that I must "back up out of the basement" is "bigger" than what I was experiencing, or aiming to achieve, with my time flirting with being a lamp in the Magia sense of the word. Not better —bigger— something that transcends but includes.
Also, in the second Communication, the symbolism that BLACK says is the most important for me to follow isn't compatible with Magia.
The symbol of an Octahedron was given to me, and BLACK himself describes himself as being of the Dawn, and to cultivate in myself a "dawn energy". Magia has the symbol and structure of a dodecahedron and concerns itself with the sunset. Different approaches entirely —approaches which I don't feel are personally compatible.
So, what is bigger than "just a lamp"? A lighthouse? The Sun returning at dawn after the dark of the night? Why not both?
Incidentally, I feel I have also worked out what "9 and 1" is referring to, but it would take far too long to get into other than to say it is to do with the number 418, which BLACK said was the key to unlock all the symbolism of the communications. I'll come back to that in another essay as it seems very important.
"Hey, a new problem, you need to ground yourself at home – Life insurance! And don't forget to sing, 100 means double in the arts." The life insurance line made me chuckle at the time as it refers to a long standing private joke between myself and my wife. This is again referred to with the line, "Your wife would know!"
"You need to ground yourself at home". Over the last while, I have realised just how important my home is. I don't want to go into this too much because of its obvious personal nature, but when my home life is unstable, my entire life falls apart, and my mental landscape becomes treacherous.
My home is my base from where everything else gets its stability, and I increasingly have come to understand how important keeping that stability is for my greater mental health. It is something I have been really working on recently.
"You need to ground yourself at home" is probably the single best piece of advice that BLACK offers me in all of the Communications. "Ground" also means I must stop wanting to run away from my problems rather than fix them.
"And don't forget to sing,100 means double in the arts." Of all the creative work I do —writing, drawing, podcast, videos etc— the one that I enjoy the most is music. I think music is the most magical thing in all of creation. But, it's also the part of my creative life that I spend the least amount of time on as it feels somewhat like an indulgence. When working on music I feel that I really should be doing something with more value —or, more correctly, something that has more monetary value.
So, even though I have recorded albums, EPs and a number of singles over the past few years, music is still not something I devote a lot of my time towards.
And I think BLACK is telling me that I should spend more time on it. "Don't forget to sing" —don't forget how important music is to you! Don't forget to express yourself in the way you want, even if it's only valuable to you. That's enough.
Also, singing became part of my Reclaiming Working, as seen in this video. Music in general is a huge part of it.
BLACK also mentions music to me previously in the first Communication, "Refreshing. Repeating. Back to the store, right? Will Tommie help? To be determined. The Music is a wonder."
At the time, I thought the "Back to the store" was just referring to Spud, and his work collecting aid at the beginning of the Ukrainian War but little did I know it also referred to the fact that I would, shortly after this, go "back to the store".
The main music venue, and a place with a huge part of my life, is called the Spirit Store, and for many reasons, I hadn't been in it in over a decade. Less than a month after this Communication, I was back in it.
And the Music was a wonder. Music is always a wonder.
So then, after all that, what exactly is 100?
While it may have further meaning left to be revealed, for now, I think 100 refers to Magic —actual Magic, not mysticism.
If you look up 100 in a gematria calculator, you get "Magician". So I need to get the Magician out of the basement, which I feel I have been attempting.
And for me, Magic certainly does feel its worth double when combined with creativity or the arts.
"Erect your soul in the light. Don't worry about what that means. Just take my hand; you're going to be proud of yourself." I feel this is fairly obvious —trust what BLACK is saying, it'll all work out, and don't worry about trying to work out the process. Just erect my soul in light. "[T]ake my hand" is also a line from a song that has deep personal meaning and resonance for me: "So baby won’t you take my hand? So we can do what the others can."
"I just know why it hurts, Tommie, and there is relief at the Oasis. An offer direct."
I've mentioned the Oasis already above, and I'll see how all that develops as time goes on, but the "offer direct" had me stumped for a while, until again, I looked to see what the Communications themselves had to say about it.
In the UTH: "I have an offer about that. Put your hands in the air and then move beyond. Beautiful."
So, what could that possibly mean?
In the session Spud and I did on the 29th of March at dawn, I asked the question: "What is the nature of my sadness" to which BLACK replied through visions shown to Spud:
"You're outside in a field or a park, around the front of your house somewhere. You put your hands up in the air, but what the air is like is names written on clouds, and they're emotions. And this is the one you happened to pull down. There are other people doing the same thing - you're not alone in this. This is the one [the emotion] at the time that helped you make sense of your personality and your character."
And then more sage advice follows.
It's crazy just how connected all the communications are and how none of it makes sense until you look at them as a whole.
It’s all there; it’s all explained; it's all laid out perfectly. And I am sure there is more to be revealed too.
I could go on and on and talk more about what I have discovered over the past few days in looking at the Communications again, but this has already gone on way longer than I planned.
There is just so much stuff I could write about around these Communications, and I have only really touched the surface of it as yet. So I will come back to it in later Newsletters.
But now, as we come to the end, the question has to be asked: Do I now believe BLACK is a Secret Chief?
And my honest answer, right this very second as I type this, is —I don't know, but I'm no longer ruling it out.