“In the Beginning We Were Twelve”

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Disclosure: I have not read Gordon White’s Star Ships, although I have ordered it. I have listened to his interview on the Higher Side Chats, which I highly recommend. Any similarities between this post and his work is not only coincidental, but also highly synchronous.

Boquillas

The first thing I notice about the Mezcal is that I can taste its life. The dirt of the desert, the sun, and even the sparse rain. This then is its spirit, so many thoughts rush in. Last night, here in Boquillas, Mexico, under the influence of Hongos and Peyote, Mescalito introduced me to the Twelve. I was there with them and they are returning to us. Not sure what that means, but I know it’s important. Now for tacos and tequila.

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FERIA MEZCAL by Emiliano Lopez

The year was 1995, the same year Klaus Schmidt began to uncover Göbeckli Tepe, a synchronicity that has not been lost on me. The above paragraph is from one of my journals. I was in Mexico, in a town along the border called Boquillas. I was staying at a very friendly Bed and Breakfast, recommended to by my mentor at the time, Wes Nations. In order to protect the innocent I will simply call this humble establishment, Casa de Hongos. At Casa de Hongos, in addition to tacos on home made tortillas, and local Mezcal, I was provided with Hongos (which I believe were Psilocybe Aztecorum) and Peyote. My journey into the desert that night was a journey to the Heart of Infinity. It was exactly as María Sabina describes it;

“The more you go inside the world of teonanácatl, the more things are seen. And you also see our past and our future, which are there as a single thing already achieved, already happened…. Millions of things I saw and knew. I knew and saw God: an immense clock that ticks, the spheres that go slowly around, and inside the stars, the earth, the entire universe, the day and the night, the cry and the smile, the happiness and the pain. He who knows to the end the secret of teonanácatl can even see that infinite clockwork.”

Teonanácatl is an Aztec word that means, “Flesh of God”, and I believe it. We do not need to travel to stars to communicate with Alien Intelligence, we only have to eat its flesh. That night in Boquillas, I did just that.

I don’t know if it was the combination of the Hongos and Peyote, or the desert air, or a steady diet of tacos and tequila, perhaps all of the above, but this was one of the few psychedelic experiences of my life where I entered an “Alternate Reality.” Not really a big fan of that term as I believe we simultaneously exist in several realities concurrently, but that is another blog post entirely. That night was the second time I encountered Mescalito, the spirit of the Peyote plant, and beings I refer to as “the Others”, more on that in a moment, but more significantly it was the first time I met “The Twelve.”

The Twelve

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MESCALITO IS HERE by Hico

After ingestion of the peyote and hongos, I began to hike into the desert a little ways. I had scouted the area during the day so as to not completely lose my way at night. I first felt Mescalito’s presence to my left, a buzzing like metallic insects and increased heat signaled his arrival. As I turned to greet him, I noticed “the Others”, they always make me apprehensive, not sure why, something about their Mantid presence unsettles me. This was when I knew it would be no ordinary journey.

Mescalito lets me know we have a long journey ahead of us, I express concern about becoming lost in the desert. He laughs and says that I will be “returned.” This does not comfort me. So I climb up onto a boulder as he suggests, That is when the first flash of light hits me. I say hit because it felt very physical, like something rippled through me. Suddenly I was very warm despite the chill of the desert air. When the second light hit, I was no longer looking at the desert, it was more like one of those Google Deep Dream images. When the third and final light hit, I felt as if I had been lifted up into some sort of sphere. That is when I met them.

I was in the center of a space that I cannot accurately describe, it felt vast and suffocating simultaneously. They were all around me in a circle, my impression was of robed figures with animal masks. The masks were animated, shifting, the “floor” crawled with snakes. I recognized the animals, they looked old depictions of Witch’s Sabbaths. Fox, Boar, Bull, Bear, Ram, Crow, and Vulture are all I remember. I tried to make them fit into Egyptian mythology for a while, but realized they were older somehow.

They had a message for me, and this is it in its entirety, as well as I was able to remember for my notes the next day.

“In the beginning we were Twelve. We were all there. You are all our Descendants. We were the First. We will be the Last. We are returning. Everything will change as You remember. Everything awakens. We are the Twelve.”

It seemed much longer, and I am still unpacking everything that transmitted to me on that night twenty some odd years ago. There was much, much more, but this the part that is relevant to this tale. I awoke in an alleyway three blocks from Casa de Hongos. The Nineties began to get even weirder.

Crash Collusion

I have mentioned my mentor Wes Nations before, but never fully explained what an amazing impact he has had on my life. Wes was my manager at a print shop where I worked the graveyard shift. He was the reason I got the job. Wes, printed a zine called Crash Collusion, it was as close to Gordon White’s Rune Soup, as anything else I have encountered in my life.

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CRASH COLLUSION from Anomaly Archives

Wes and I met in 1993, when I moved to Austin, Texas. He was publishing a zine that covered the Fringe Culture of the time. Conspiracy theories, magic, the OTO, psychedelics and UFO’s were featured in every edition. I gained a better understanding on all these topics thanks to Wes’ research and the contribution of others to his zine. This is when I first made the connection between, magic, entheogens, and Alien Encounters. Then one day Wes gave me a copy of Passport to Magonia by Jacques Vallée. My life has quite literally never been the same. All of this was six months before the X-Files. 93’s all the way down.

Wes taught me about alternate realities, entheogen cultivation and preparation, and ritual magic. I am forever in his debt. He was the first Mutant Mage I knew. He told me where to find the Casa de Hongos in Boquillas. He was the first person to tell me about Burning Man and Çatalhöyük, the precursor to Göbeckli Tepe.

Göbeckli Tepe

Klaus Schmidt began excavating Göbeckli Tepe in 1995, the same year that I met “the Twelve.” There are many hypotheses that attempt to explain the function and importance of this complex. I believe along with many others that it was a temple complex. I also believe that it was constructed as an homage to encounters with “alien” i.e., non-human intelligence. However that is where I make a departure from most hypotheses.

A description from Wikipedia

“At this early stage of the site’s history, circular compounds or temene first appear. They range from 10 to 30 metres in diameter. Their most notable feature is the presence of T-shaped limestone pillars evenly set within thick interior walls composed of unworked stone. Four such circular structures have been unearthed so far. Geophysical surveys indicate that there are 16 more, enclosing up to eight pillars each, amounting to nearly 200 pillars in all. The slabs were transported from bedrock pits located approximately 100 metres (330 ft) from the hilltop, with workers using flint points to cut through the limestone bedrock.[17]

Two taller pillars stand facing one another at the centre of each circle. Whether the circles were provided with a roof is uncertain. Stone benches designed for sitting are found in the interior.[18] Many of the pillars are decorated with abstract, enigmatic pictograms and carved animal reliefs. The pictograms may represent commonly understood sacred symbols, as known from Neolithic cave paintings elsewhere. The reliefs depict mammals such as lions, bulls, boars, foxes, gazelles and donkeys; snakes and other reptiles, arthropods such as insects and arachnids; and birds, particularly vultures. At the time the edifice was constructed, the surrounding country was likely to have been forested and capable of sustaining this variety of wildlife, before millennia of settlement and cultivation led to the near–Dust Bowl conditions prevalent today.[7] Vultures also feature prominently in the iconography of Çatalhöyük and Jericho. Professor of Archaeology Steven Mithen, suggests that in the early Neolithic culture of Anatolia and the Near East the deceased were deliberately exposed in order to be excarnated by vultures and other carrion birds. (The head of the deceased was sometimes removed and preserved — possibly a sign of ancestor worship.)[19] This, then, would represent an early form of sky burial, as still practiced by Tibetan Buddhists and by Zoroastrians in Iran and India.”

First, I cannot ignore that the majority of the structures uncovered contain T-shaped pillars that have animal “totems” carved onto them. The base of most of these have snakes on them. Each pillar has a different animal that seems to be dominant. The animals in question? Foxes, Boars, Bulls, Rams, Vultures, Bears, Geese, and others. The number of pillars in the outer rings? TWELVE. Yep, first time I read that I experienced vertigo and had a minor panic attack. The message of the Twelve echoed in my head like a bad dream.

Many long nights have been spent discussing the importance of this find and what it represents, with friends and acquaintances from many different academic disciplines. Many believe the pillars may be representations of God-figures. In his paper “Megalithic Totemism of the Individual: A New Analysis of Göbekli Tepe’s Monumental Pillars” by Nate Ramsayer, which can be read in its entirety at Academia, Mr Ramsayer, puts forth the following hypotheses;

“It seems to me, in the light of the obvious anthropomorphic symbolism found in the very design of these T-shaped pillars, that they were intended to represent humans. Yet, if this is the case, how do the numerous and varied animal depictions figure into human representation? I would suggest that these animals are similar to what Schmidt describes as totems, i.e.emblems of family/clan that are used symbolically to represent that family/clan.Yet my interpretation varies from Schmidt in that it seems the only way to explain the wide variance in animal taxon and type and size of imagery is that each enclosure represents 12 individuals.”

“Each enclosure represents 12 individuals.” Please do tell me more Mr. Ramsay.

Whereas Schmidt would view the animal totems as a collection of symbols for the whole group, I would argue that they are specific to singular people, rather than a whole tribe.”

This is akin to my own personal Roswell Incident. I can hear both Mescalito and Wes laughing at me. The only part of these hypotheses that fails to satisfy me is the “T” shape of the pillars. Why this shape for people? Perhaps these people had contact with an “alien” intelligence that has been a fellow traveler on Spaceship Earth all along.

Blessed Mycelium

It is no secret that I am a fan of the Blessed Mycelium. Much like Terrence Mc Kenna, I tumblr_ni2f8rJra81u46p9fo1_1280believe that fungus has contributed to the evolution of our species. I am a “Stoned Ape Theory” proselytizer and devotee. On that night in Boquillas so many years ago, Hongos introduced me to the Twelve. Think about the shape of the fruiting body of fungus mycelium. That’s right in profile it resembles a “T”.

Now I am going to travel the realms of pure conjecture. Perhaps these Twelve figures that Ramsay believes to be individuals, and I believe I have been contacted by, are the first twelve humans to be actively aware of what we call consciousness. Magic, imagination, consciousness, religion, and communication with “alien” intelligence are most likely all the same thing. What if Göbeckli Tepe is a monument to the First Twelve fully aware humans? The moment we left Eden and became thinkers, instead of purely instinctual? Perhaps the “T” shape is an acknowledgment of this fact? A combination of the Blessed Mycelium and expanded consciousness. This is just supposition on my behalf, but I cannot shake the feeling that I am on to something.

The Twelve still intrude into my life from time to time and I cannot forget what they told me in the desert that night. That transmission is like a fractal, the deeper I go down the Rabbit Hole the more that is revealed. No matter how far I go down my spiral path, I keep returning to Home, which is in the Desert, with fresh tacos and tequila on the table, a bowl of Hongos and room for Twelve.

PEACE LOVE LIGHT

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BOQUILLAS COMMUNITY by Gama Gmita

 

Abre Camino

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The Garden Gate

 

“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it.” – Mathew 7:13

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What does it mean to “Open a Way”? As compared to “Removing Obstacles”, are these two individual acts, or somehow intrinsically contained within each other? Opener of Ways and Remover of Obstacles, called by the names, Ganesha, Papa Legba, St. Peter, Mercury, St. Expedite, Hermekate, Mother Mary, Santisima Muerte, and Hecate, lead in some way through the darkness and help us to find Our path. So again I ask, what does it mean to “Open a Way”? I believe for most it is a very simple operation that is completely functional, but I have found a deeper wisdom. It’s down here in the mycelium, and I suspect I am not the only one.

In the garden, right beneath our feet is a great mystery revealed. There in the Mycelium, the answer, and no I do not refer to ingestion, at least not directly. The forest floor is alive, as are desert soils, more on that later. Everything that dies and  falls to the ground in a forest breaks down into nutrients that end up distributed through out the entire ecosystem because of Mycelium. That’s right Mycelium Networks function like the neural network of the plant world. We can communicate with Non-Human intelligence, right now, on this planet. In a natural setting, plants and animals breaking down is the beginning of building soil and distributing nutrients. At some point everything passes through the mycelium. If you die in the woods, or any where else for the matter, except extreme cold, mushrooms will eat you, as it should be. In Death We Are United.

I know not much of a revelation, but think about how humanity is corrupting the process.1656076-The-witches-market-Mexico-City-0 When my time comes, I want to be left in the woods, but I will probably get one of those Mycology-suits so that I can return to the cycle of Life, Death, and Rebirth, and become reunited once more. About now you should be asking yourself one thing, what does this have to do with Opening Ways? Can’t slip anything past the astute observer. Death opens a way, actually many ways. My friend Ellen says, Death is when your soul leaves corporeal form almost like how a mirror shatters. At first every thing is there, some pieces may be saved for sentimental reasons. Most will get lost over time and as each piece leaves so too a part of our soul, until it fades away. I love the beauty and poetry expressed here. Death is an Opener of Ways and Remover of Obstacles. I can see where this will be helpful later on. Thank you Blessed Mycelium, I find peace in knowing that we will be united in death.

Down on the Corner

“You don’t need a penny just to hang around,
But if you’ve got a nickel, won’t you lay your money down?
Over on the corner there’s a happy noise.
People come from all around to watch the magic boy.” – Down on the Corner- Creedence Clearwater Revival

Back at the Crossroads one can see nothing but Possibility, that initial rush of inspiration tumblr_inline_nfrlkc45kA1t5infnalways seems to get exaggerated. This is the Seven of Cups. This moment when you have chosen to move, this is when the Way is Opened. How far depends on how fully we commit to the process. You can not progress without work. And when you are doing your enchantments, reciting your prayers, and asking the spirits for their aid, remember to ask for discernment, motivation, and the removal of procrastination, St. Expedite is especially helpful here.

Here in the flux we imagine our grandest moments to come, pulling upon all we have known. This journey is infinite, yet familiar. So we make a bargain in the Goblin’s Market, and wait to see if our offer has been accepted. When it has, we head off like so many hapless RPG parties on an adventure to who knows where. That’s all we have, an inkling, a possibility, and a map of where the treasure lay hidden. Down the Opened Way we traipse, full of hope and wonder. Somehow inevitably the treasure is never what we imagine it to be, almost always the real treasure is found in the journey.

Lagunilla

A wide range of goods is on sale at Lagunilla Market. Image by Katja Gaskell / Lonely Planet

When we seek to Open a Way, or Remove Obstacles, we are asking to be made aware of what we possess to overcome challenges. In this way we also become aware of what we lack, 428450often making our overall path a spiral. We find ourselves visiting the same places over and over until we learn to break the vessel. What I mean by this is that some lessons we learn over and over, as if we are too blind to see that a gallon jug will not hold five gallons no matter how many times one attempts to make it all fit. At some point we need a bigger vessel. These are the blessed AHA! moments, illumination, inspiration, a Way Opened. At the Crossroads we come to find a way forward. This often leads us to unfamiliar territory, or at least it seems so at first.

Coming Home

“He was born in the summer of his 27th year, coming home to a place he’d never been before.
He left yesterday behind him, you might say he was born again,
you might say he found a key for every door” – John Denver Rocky Mountain High

The first time I did psychedelics with intent, i.e. ritualistically, I had just finished readinganthony High Priest by Dr. Leary. Blessed Mycelium, took me home to a place I had never been before, a Way Opened. There in the Hill Country of Texas, I was simultaneously in a place familiar and completely foreign. The Sacred Hunting Grounds had merged with my Mytho-Poetic inner landscape and my journey would never be the same again. In that moment I was born again. The Spiral Path had just begun to reveal itself.

There are many symbols that seem to have grave import to my journey, that I am both surprised and comforted when I come across them. Among these are keys, torches, stars, skulls, and the Twelve (more on this in a later post.) At the tender age of nineteen, I really had no idea what I was asking for or what direction my path would take. The spirits had already been busy at the task of Opening My Way, first among them to reveal himself was the Master of the Crossroads. He has worn many names over the years, Legba, Ganesha, and St. Peter are just a few. Always my companion, this spirits presence has never let me forget it is always about choice and compromise.

Every pact, every ritual, every decision, comes with an understanding that I have chosen which way NOT to go. Whereas I like to believe that asking a spirit to Open a Way increases my possibilities, the reality is that it narrows them down. Opening a Way is choosing one Reality Tunnel over the others. As the song says there’s always time to change the road your on, but this involves visiting the Crossroads again. Upon my most recent visit to Crossroads I met new friends, or so I thought.

atocha4As I have mentioned before, I have a habit of falling backwards and landing upright, like a clumsy cat. I always seem to meet my spirits on back roads, forgotten paths, and sideways alleys. The last time I worked with La Santisima, I did an Abre Camino ritual, and I have been blessed a continual parade of Rebel Saints, Shape-shifting Tricksters, and Blessed Misfits. The perfect Companions for a Mutant Mage. Into this picture San Antonio de Padua and El Niño de Atocha, kept making regular appearances. Intrigued by their repeated presence, I finally yielded and met them formally. Unsurprisingly, I discovered their connection to Ellegua, that is Papa Legba. All these years later, no matter how many Ways are Opened, I keep Coming Home. I suppose that was all I was seeking all along, the road to that place where the Ordinary and Extra-Ordinary are ONE.

PEACE LOVE LIGHT

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Magia del Ordinario

ocotillo__sonora_desert__arizonaLessons from Crow

“Wherever crows are, there is magic. They are symbols of creation and spiritual strength. They remind us to look for opportunities to create and manifest the magic of life. They are messengers calling to us about the creation and magic that is alive within our world everyday and available to us.” Ted Andrews Animal Speak

Crow__1990772aIn my quarter century plus of doing this thing called magic, I am constantly surprised by one tendency among practitioners, over and over again. To my mind it seems to be a need to over complicate things, to theirs it is simplifying things. I’m not sure why some believe this or when the tendency started but I do know it is pervasive; and I tend to think of it as a zero sum situation. The situation of which I speak is ignorance of the Magic of the Ordinary. Everyday freaking magic. It is literally the air you breathe.

Don’t think air is magical? Try going without it for ten minutes. Everything you do is dependent on air. Without air magic is meaningless, and thankfully, the overwhelming majority of the time we don’t even have to think about it. Neither do we have to consciously will our heart to pump blood nor ask the sun to bless us with it’s presence. This is all everyday, mundane, ordinary experience. In no way does this diminish the magic of it all. Even from a purely scientific point of view, everything has to exist so that you can exist, and that is damn near miraculous.

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So the problem I see plaguing individuals is this; once one learns how to create shortcuts in the reality matrix with charms, spells, and spirit work, all of a sudden one wants to do everything with magic. I have been there, I understand, really I do, it is very exciting discovering this new aspect of ourselves. There is an exuberance to learn everything one can manipulate in this way. What? Does manipulation throw off the glamour? Make no mistake, all magic is manipulation. Relax, thankfully one does not need to do everything with magic. Most of it is on auto-pilot.

Lessons from the Garden

“In the early spring, many of us who follow earth-based spiritual paths begin planning our gardens for the coming season. The very act of planting, of beginning new life from seed, is a ritual and a magical act in itself.” – Patty Wigington – Magical Gardening Around the World

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Read the quote above it has the quintessence of Ordinary Magic summed up in the second sentence. “The very act of planting, of beginning new life from seed, is a ritual and a magical act in itself.” One of the two things I tell people who are interested in learning magic is this, learn to grow something from seed. All magic is akin to gardening. You must think about your goal; are going to grow a sunflower or broccoli? You must acquire the supplies, i.e., the seed, dirt etc. You must prepare a space for the operation to take place. You must and I cannot stress this enough, do the work. Take the garden, you have to research the placement based on light, run off, soil type, and many other things. In addition to the aforementioned preparation, perhaps you need compost or a fence, maybe a trellis. Then you must dig in, literally, the seeds won’t plant themselves.

This I believe saves some from the trap of “enchanted seeds”. What I mean by this is that one cannot simply go out buy a packet of seeds and enchant them to grow. Go ahead try it, if you are successful please let me know. I can scribble sigils all over the packet, I can call upon Tammuz, Ceres, and even St. Francis of Assisi, but it will be of no avail if I do not do some very Ordinary Magic. Namely that of planting the seeds and providing sunshine and water for them. This is the fallacy, I see most often, some idea that magic allows us to ignore or circumvent the magic that Universe has already invested into our day to day existence. We are miracles, amazing products of genetics, evolution, and biology, tap into your power. You are magic participating in a magical process called life.

romita-urban-gardenWhy bother to do magic if everything is already magical? Think of Deliberate Magic as being like the garden. If we walk outside and just expect to find tomatoes or okra growing in the yard or on the patio, we will very likely be disappointed. Instead we could randomly throw seeds into the same space and wait to see what happens. The best results however are when we apply knowledge and skill to bringing about our desired outcome. Find the best soil and sunlight conditions. Plant the seeds that will yield the plants you want. Water and feed the plants that grow so that you reap the rewards of harvest. To do these things requires commitment, trust in the process, and work. This is no different than magic, in fact, it is Magic.

Lessons from the Saints

picture-78Most Holy Death
The favors that you have
to grant me:

Help me overcome all
difficulties so that for me
nothing is impossible,
no obstacles, barriers,
no enemies, that no one
does me any harm,
that everyone is my friend
and that I am victorious
in all my dealings and things I do;
May my house be filled with all the good
virtues of your protection

Common Prayer to Santisima Muerte, Day One of Nine Day Prayer

I work with Folk Saints, and every oracion or prayer usually begins the same way, “Help me.” Notice it does not say do for me, or make it happen without any effort on my part. Nope. Help me. That’s what spirits do, they help, goad, prod, push, and force us if need be, to pay attention. Honestly I wouldn’t want it any other way. The things I have earned, through hard work, perseverance, and sheer will power are the things I value most. My business, my family, my animal and spiritual companions, I know these things will not fail me because I have put in the work. All of my prayers to the Saints begin the same way, help me to accomplish my goal. This can happen either through dreams, a visitation by St. Serendipitous, or even a stranger saying just the right words at the right time. The methods of revelation are not what is most important here, what I do with them is what determines my success.

nino-fidencio-guadalupanoLet me illustrate with a story. I know a man who loves to play the lottery and do those little scratch off cards. He calls on St Expedite to help him win, and amazingly he wins often, but never too much. Now some may believe the Saint is letting him down, but this is not so. When he does win, he uses the money to buy more lottery tickets. The problem here is that he has tapped into power to increase his odds of winning, but instead of utilizing the Magic of the Ordinary, he squanders his winnings. subsequently he is constantly in debt. If he were to use his magic strategically, something Jason Miller has built a career teaching people to do, he would achieve much more. Instead of buying more tickets he could pay his electric bill, or invest in tools to ply his trade, perhaps even open a bank account. There are far too many stories of individuals who have won big in the lottery only to end up broke again because they did not understand the mundane magic of finance. A little knowledge goes a long way, and knowledge is a fundamental aspect of the Magic of the Ordinary. You cannot do the work without the knowledge of how to do the work. It is that simple.

0O075TdkWhen the Saints do help me, it is my responsibility to use what I am given to achieve my goals. This means utilizing the most mundane Magic of the Ordinary there is; WORK. Yes, as Ru Paul sings, you better work. Work is definitely magic, despite how dreary it may seem on the surface. Work is what turns logs into boards and boards into a structure. Work is what turns certain rocks into silver and silver into jewelry. Magic with out work is wishful thinking, which might make you more positive, but it rarely if ever produces results. If I have a broken leg, I am not going to use Magic alone to heal it. I am going to the doctor to get the bone set and get a cast to protect it during the healing process. I will put an image of Don Pedrito Jaramillo upon my cast to aid its recovery and to insure a beneficial outcome. I will also ask the Saints to help me, and perhaps someone will gift me with Boneset or Calcium Supplements. It is still up to me to do research and use these gifts appropriately, for instance if you are not familiar with boneset, you might use incorrectly based on it’s name alone and that would be a mistake. Saints protect us indeed. Whatever your endeavor you’re never too clever to further endeavor. Never discount the Magic of the Ordinary, your very life depends upon it.

PEACE LOVE LIGHT

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El Camino Real Azul

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Beatific Rendezvous

“There’s a 750 Norton bustin down January’s door
hang on St. Christopher on the passenger side
open it up tonight the devil can ride
hang on St. Christopher now don’t let me go”– Tom Waits – Hang on St. Christopher

saint-christopher.jpg!BlogI came to St. Christopher the same way I come to all things, walking backwards down country lanes, lost highways, and forgotten back roads. This seems to be my preferred way of travel through this life. Who better to meet upon this serpentine path I traverse than the Patron of Travelers? St. Christopher has such an interesting back story that seems to fit well with other allies in practice. His provenance is amazing, let me share some of it with you. Born under the name of Offerus, he was the son of a Persian king. The story goes that his mother prayed to the Blessed Virgin and when he was born he was dedicated to Apollo and Machmet. A man of great strength he dedicated himself to the service of the Devil. Put off by the Devil’s weakness he went into the wilderness and met a hermit. The hermit converted him and refusing to fast or pray he began instead to use his strength in the name of service. This consisted of mostly carrying people across a strong river on his back. One such passenger,was a child, who continually grew heavier, so that it seemed to him as if he had the whole world on his shoulders. The child, on inquiry, made himself known as the Creator and Redeemer of the world. To prove his statement the child ordered Christopher to fix his staff in the ground. The next morning it had grown into a palm tree bearing fruit. This caused many people in the vicinity to convert, and earned Christopher as he was now known a place in prison. Like many martyrs he was tortured and beheaded when he refused to renounce his new path.

Let me point out a few of my favorite parts of this story. First his mother, like many of those who practice Traditional Craft, exhibits a dual observance, praying to the Blessed Virgin and dedicating her son to Pagan Gods. Tasty morsel there. Then he decides to serve the Devil, familiar trope emerging. Finding the Devil weak or perhaps limited? He retreats to the wilderness, where he meets a mysterious hermit. Perhaps he became a hermit, either way he converts to a new path, but does not take it up wholeheartedly. This is evidenced by his refusal to fast or pray, very unusual for the time and for one who became sainted later on. Instead he continues to have pride in his strength,image(4) even though he now uses it for service to others. Eventually the Creator and Redeemer of the world notices and rides him across the river. The metaphors implicit in this alone would make a great book. Instead I will only say that crossing rivers is a metaphor for a rite of passage. Finally his staff becomes a palm tree bearing fruit. A barren staff becoming fruitful, definitely symbolic of bounty and riches. As a reward for his service he is imprisoned and eventually beheaded. Some day I need to write about the connection between the Headless One, the Celtic cult of the head, and all these beheaded saints.

So much material to unpack for my personal praxis, I am so glad I have come know this great source of strength. Who can’t use a saint of travelers on this crooked path we walk? Let me tell you how we met.

Staring Into Bliss

“You will come to a place where the streets are not marked.
Some windows are lighted. But mostly they’re darked.
A place you could sprain both your elbow and chin!
Do you dare to stay out? Do you dare to go in?
How much can you lose? How much can you win?”-Dr. Seuss – Oh the Places You Will Go!

What a difference a week makes. Today the sun is shining bright and my spirits are high, it feels like an early spring. Last Monday, I was sick, depressed, and a Norther was blowing into the area. Despite my illness or maybe because of it, I climbed onto the roof with my morning coffee and a blanket. Sitting there, I stared into the coming line of blue cold clouds. The wind harsh and fast, relieved my fevered brow, and took me out west past the limestone hills and cedar brush. I could smell all of the land it had traveled over, thehqdefault West Texas sage, the mountain cedar that was wrecking havoc on my sinuses, and even the agave and yucca of New Mexico. Way in the back the hints of Blue Spruce and Ponderosa Pine from the Rockies. Wind is the breath and incense of the land.

So there I sat, fevered, caffeinated, shivering, and suddenly full of bliss. Yes I felt truly beatific, bright and holy with the knowledge that as always I was on a journey. I am a nomadic soul, my spiritual path is just that, a path. Paths are meant to be traveled, traversed, they always lead some where else. Aristotle advocated being Peripatetic to discuss philosophy and so it is with spiritual wayfarers, we are always on the move. As my mind drifted away, I let all the chains and shackles drop away and traveled light and free. In that moment the words, “hang on St. Christopher now don’t let me go”, from the Tom Waits song, reverberated through my head. Somehow I knew he was what I needed in that moment, even though I was unfamiliar with his story.

Remembrance of a perfect morning many years earlier, in a tin roofed cabin perched on 20160131_092425_resized.jpgthe side of a hill outside of Medina, Texas, came to me. That morning, a quarter century ago, was crisp and cold, and the smell of the Ashe Juniper in the Franklin stove filled the cabin. I wrapped myself in nothing but a serape, grabbed what was left of the Tequila from the night before, and went out onto the porch. As the Tequila and the Mota took hold, a warm bliss spread through me and I realized that no matter what happened in life, I would be okay. That was the day I realized that the desert, still many miles west, was my spiritual home, my personal Shangri-La. I was twenty three and re-reading Desert Solitaire. On that morning I sang Hang on St. Christopher to the live oaks and junipers, to the limestone, the armadillos and the feral hogs. When I finished a hummingbird landed on my shoulder. La Chuparosa, the totem of Love. With the visions of that day so long ago fresh in my mind, I realized I needed to know more about this St. Christopher and why he kept coming into my life.

Hermanos del Alma

“Whoever shall behold the image of St. Christopher shall not faint or fall on that day.”- Inscription on the base of Saint Christopher’s Statue at the Church in Baden

When I read about St. Christopher, I was struck by how even though he had devoted himself to the Devil and refused to take the normal path of fasting and prayer, the Almighty Divine still came to him. Here is the patron of travelers, taking one of the most circuitous and round about paths possible and yet, by straying he found the path direct. Yes, this is my kind of saint, unconventional, wild, and not afraid of the Devil. How could I not like him? In some way I know he has always been there, watching over me. Coming to me every time I sing that Tom Waits song, taking the offerings I leave at Crossroads, and joining me in blessing the many travelers I have met along the way.

It feels so good to meet a new companion that is familiar, some fellow soul that has been here all along. These are the moments that make me realize that there really is something to this after all. As powerful as one can feel, calling out the names of Storm Gods and Goddesses as a thunderstorm rages, one can feel damn silly too. These moments of validation from somewhere far beyond ourselves make the work worth it, because let’s be honest sometimes it is very hard to know if we have done anything at all. This is definitely not an easy path at times and yet other times are so smooth it’s hard to hold on. Now I have a fellow traveler, a Patron of Travelers, mi hermano de alma, San Christopher. So open it up tonight, the devil can ride, and hang on St. Christopher now don’t let me go.

PEACE LOVE LIGHT

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Confessions of a Heathen Brujo

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The Blackened Heart

“You build on failure. You use it as a stepping stone. Close the door on the past. You don’t try to forget the mistakes, but you don’t dwell on it. You don’t let it have any of your energy, or any of your time, or any of your space.” – Johnny Cash23f3caa451c8a701a6335a715eafdfc6

We have all been there, that quiet, cold, loneliness that threatens to consume your soul. The painful moments when we feel lost and beyond redemption, when we actually listen to the lies of self destruction. Those moments of self inflicted black magic when we turn away from the light and harden our hearts. In that stillness it becomes easy to forget that everything cycles, that everything returns.

My blackened heart was beyond heavy, it was an anchor. A dolmen to which I had chained myself. All the while I believed I was making progress, I was actually walking in circles. Restricting my progress further and further until I collapsed. In that moment I had a vision so clear that it blinded me, woke me to the truth I had so diligently avoided. This blackened heart, a charred relic of what I had once been, was of my own making and only I had the power to heal it.

TexasCemetery26Aug06JohnDarsenekLike many in my predicament, I sought some scapegoat to sacrifice upon the altar fires, an act of redemption was my goal. Redemption eluded me as swiftly as the Roebuck eludes the heavy footed hunter. Not until I put myself into the flames of forgiveness did I burn away the impurities. This one simple act, to forgive myself and own my mistakes, opened the path of love once more. My blackened heart is not gone, it is a reminder of the dark magics I am capable of inflicting upon myself, however it is now a symbol instead of a rationalization for self avoidance.

The Devil at the Crossroads

“Ran into the devil, babe, he loaned me twenty bills
I spent the night in Utah in a cave up in the hills.

Set out runnin’ but I take my time, a friend of the devil is a friend of mine,
If I get home before daylight, I just might get some sleep tonight.” -Grateful Dead

85Scratch, Old Nick, the Devil, Old Hornie, it doesn’t really matter what you call him, he is always there. Like many folks, I met him at the crossroads, not to sell my soul or make a pact, but to gain an ally. That night I had no idea I would meet him there, I had rum and cake, my standard offering, and I went seeking answers. The crossroads is where most of my work happens, both the physical crossroads I leave offerings at and the esoteric Crossroads that lives in my heart. So I traveled to the place where both overlap, where the magic of therapeutic healing happens. The buzzing air around me signaled an unfamiliar presence in that place.

The first thing one needs to know about the Devil is he will not tolerate delusion. He will shatter every false perception you have about yourself. This is not cruelty, it is brutal honesty. The only people who call him a liar are those who fear him, a trickster yes, a liar, no. It is this unrelenting nature of his that makes some fear him, he will not let you off the hook, so to speak. As long as you are content to torture yourself, he is happy to indulge you. This hardness will break you, but you have to breakdown to breakthrough. Once I was able to be honest with myself, he was willing to be straightforward. Fear must be conquered to confront the Devil.

devil2There I was at the Crossroads facing the Devil and in an instant I knew I had gained a freedom that would never leave me. I knew why all the witches of yore worked with him, the soul filled with fear is unsuitable to this work. My preconceived notions about him were all wrong, he doesn’t care if I build a shrine to him or not. It’s unnecessary he assured me, for he is always with us, just like Death. He doesn’t buy souls, why pay for something that dissolves away in most cases, he asked. He will teach me, although I may not always like the lessons, nature of the Beast, so to speak. As a consequence of his friendship, I will see more clearly. This has lead to amazing results.

The Heart Inflamed

“There is no insurmountable solitude. All paths lead to the same goal: to convey to others what we are. And we must pass through solitude and difficulty, isolation and silence in order to reach forth to the enchanted place where we can dance our clumsy dance and sing our sorrowful song – but in this dance or in this song there are fulfilled the most ancient rites of our conscience in the awareness of being human and of believing in a common destiny.” -Pablo Neruda

We are all here to lend each other mutual support. Even in our moments of quiet suffering there are powers, spirits, allies that wait to help us. The difficult part is to reach out, to ask for help. This simple act, of seeking a friendly soul, can seem insurmountable, herculean even. We have all been there, and I believe the only way to keep it at bay is to reach out to others once we have crossed this abyss. The heart inflamed with love conquers all fears, and to hold that place within ourselves for the benefit of others is to keep the flame alive.
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The Devil helped me find my complete self, and to use my strength to conquer fear. From this place I was also able to finally embrace the light I always feared. Ironic that I had to meet the Devil to learn how to love the Divine. Pablo Neruda’s words have been conveying so much magic to me lately, especially his assertion that although nothing can save us from death, Love can save us from life. Pablo Neruda and the Devil, strange companions across this wasteland, but both in their own way have helped me to find the path of the Sacred Heart. This is my sigil of the soul fully in love with Holy Universe.
More than a Luchadora-Guadalupe_artpilgrim, a seeker of the mysteries, I have become a Divine Luchador, a Mutant Mage, a Heathen Brujo. Walking through a wasteland blessed with Tacos and Tequila, I converse with the Blessed Virgin, the Devil, the Just Judge, and Holy Death. I have been on this road my whole life, and at every crossroads I pick a new direction, always to the wild path. There out among the Ocotillo, the Agave, the Cenzino, and Prickly Pear, I find space to breathe, to simply be. With Tarantula and Scorpion I listen to Coyote’s song and allow my heart and my soul to be filled with the love of Holy Universe. This where I merge with the Sacred Heart.

PEACE LOVE LIGHT

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Mi Corazón De Novo

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Tabula Rasa

“The extreme clarity of the desert light is equaled by the extreme individuation of desert life forms. Love flowers best in openness and freedom.” ― Edward Abbey, Desert Solitaire

14789648805_3e3d38aa08_bThe desert more than any other ecosystem I know of encapsulates the spiritual realm. I have been to Cathedrals of Forests and Holy Cave Alcoves, and Sacred Shores, but none of these has inspired the reverential peace and inner stillness like the desert.The desert has a magic all it’s own. Every plant, every animal that exists in the desert is a concentration of the desire and will to live. As much as the ocean and the forest can speak to the soul, the desert is a concentration of soul stuff. It is reflected in the very nature of the desert. The will to live is a reflection of the True Will; a desire to exist against all odds. It is this very spirit that I will embody as I push forward to live a more Heartfelt Experience. I have gone through many trials and tribulations to get to this place, this desert I call home.

I have come to this open and free place to let love bloom. Mine is a heart bursting with the joy of Holy Universe. My soul suffused with the light of the divine. In this Holy Place I have begun again to walk the path of spirit and freedom. In the clean air and under the bright sun I impart on the path of boldness the path of the Sagrado Corazón. I am a Heathen Brujo, Anglo-Germanic by birth, Tejano by culture. I am a Folk Catholic, a Sorceror, and a Trickster. I collect bones and stones, I make jewelry and art, I read Cards and the Stars. This is my newest endeavor and it is my sincere hope that you will find Soul Treasure here, just as I have found in the desert, out past the habitations of men.

Reverential Arts

Part of the reasons for my migration from my old blog to this one are discussed on that blog. The other reasons howeSacred Heart of Jesus Bouasse Lebel 3000ver are financial, later this year, hopefully sooner rather than later. There will be shop for my Soul-inspired Art and Jewelry, as well as an offering of my Card Reading services. I read both Tarot and regular Playing Cards. I do both because they offer different insights and often illuminate each other.

As an initiatory exercise and to get this site going I am offering the three following specials. Get a years worth of Tarot Readings, 12 monthly Celtic Cross spreads, for the low price of $100, that’s less than $10 each. I will only offer this for  30 days, starting January 15th, 2016. I would also like to offer you a Astro-Tarot combo for $35. My technique is as follows; first I do a natal chart to get an overall feel for your individual astrology. Then I look at what is generally predicted for the decan of your sun sign for the upcoming year. This takes care of the astrological portion. I then do a tarot reading based on the tree of life. Afterwards I draw one card to represent the overarching theme for your year to come. The final step is to compare all the information in order to form an inclusive picture of what the coming year holds. My final offer is a dual Tarot, Playing card combo for $25. This a standard Celtic Cross Tarot spread and a five card Hoodoo draw, as mentioned above I believe this combination to be more powerful than either alone.

In the upcoming weeks and months I will be offering  Jewelry, Hand Printed Art, and Miniature for sale also. All of these items will be of a sacred nature and gifts from the Heart of the Cosmic Divine. I look forward to sharing this journey with you and hope that you will join me for the ride. PEACE LOVE LIGHT

p.s. if you are interested in taking advantage of the Services mentioned above email me at sasquatchjones@ymail.com or message me on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/tao.jones.716

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