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
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. 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 always 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.
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, often 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.
“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 reading 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.
As 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