I don’t get personal on my blog very often but I’m putting the puzzle pieces of some of my metaphysical work together and this is as good a place as any to use to gather my thoughts.
I’ve spent a lot of time studying the energy that the planet Venus brings with Her this year. I’ve both sides of Her face, both dark and the light. The studies were complicated and required a lot of cultivating energies that aligned with what was going on in the stars. When I work magick, I see my altar as a lab and myself as a spiritual scientist or an engineer or a hacker. The things that go on my altar are the gears in the machine. My job is to break the code to prove my hypothesis. But just like any scientist, sometimes I discover things that I don’t like. And sometime experiments, even though an experiment works, it doesn’t correlate with my envisioned result.
I decided to open up because a lot of people have been curious about my practice after I started posting my altars. So I thought I’d take some time to explain things to those who are interested. Some of the altars were built in correlation with specific astrological events because I want to see if there are any advantages to following strict timetables for performing rites. Other altars are based on mythology, numerology and Qabalah/Tarot themes with a hint of Buddhism.
So during Venus Retrograde, I set out to cultivate the energy that I needed to completely wipe away the things that were holding me back. I study astrology to help me accurately predict the times things will happen in my forecasts, so I decided to take what I was learning from the stars and cards and apply it to my own personal practice. It seemed like a prime time to start an experiment that would help me manifest a book deal and eventually, a movie deal for my series that I’m trying to get published. I knew what I was doing was tricky and that it could backfire, but I researched, made a plan and even devised a strategy to reverse my work if shit hit the fan.
The battle became particularly intense during Venus Decent and Venus Return. Adam and I drove across the country and moved to Colorado during this time and I lost a good friend to suicide. She became my idea of the movement of the planet Venus during her dark decent and resurrection as Lucifer Morning Star. During that time when things got to be too much, I thought about Angela, who at least between 100 and 200 people memorialized with a tattoo of a semi-colon in her memory. In a way, she became a goddess when she left this world because it was too much for her to bare. But she rose again through the marks made on skin in blood and ink. And I wondered if this is how the legends of goddess began. I thought about how her suffering was so intense in this life, and I related to it. But I didn’t end my life and I’m thankful for that.
As my personal struggle grew in strength, I saw the life that I moved out to Colorado, to teach ESL and finally have some financial security, crumble before my eyes. The Universe started pushing me out of my job, like a baby when it’s being pushed out of the womb. I was scared and I didn’t want to go. I dug my heels in and fought against all the forces working against me. Then Mercury Retrograde hit and things got even worse. I switched up my altar and decided to study Binah but balance it with Chokmah and Kether. And that’s when the darkest side of the goddess revealed herself to me: the terrible mother. The one that shows just how painful rebirth can be. Did I mention that I was blinded during 3 days during that period? So I went into darkness for three days and meditated. And in the darkness, I found the light. It was a sliver, but it was light.
By September, when we were wedged between a solar eclipse and the blood moon in Mercury Retrograde, I was so deeply depressed that I lost 10 lbs and stopped doing everything I loved. I stopped eating, I stopped caring, I lost my sex drive and I was constantly on the edge of panic attacks. As my nervousness about what was happening at my job worsened, I started having panic attacks daily. Some days, they were so bad that I’d end up puking up what little I did have in my stomach. Because I felt like a total failure; that once again, I couldn’t hold down that 9-5 that I’d been conditioned to believe was what I had to do in order to be a “successful adult”.
The eclipse came and went in all it’s beauty. I watched it with my fiance and our neighbors. Effectively, the Universe had completed her menstrual cycle starting with Venus Retrograde and ending with the blood moon. I wondered what would be cleansed from my life, which, is what I had gone after in the first place.
The week after the eclipse, after a day full of ridiculous bull shit at work, I decided that I couldn’t take it anymore and quit my job on 10/2/15. And that’s when the face of the dark mother showed herself to me. It was like being ripped from the womb and I screamed like a newborn from the overwhelming sensation. I no longer felt safe, but endangered and exposed. I think I cried for three days straight out of fear. I wondered what would happen if I couldn’t find another job, if I couldn’t pay my bills. Would Adam and I end up on the street all because of me? Because I couldn’t keep it together when things got stressful at work?
I had enough money to pay rent and get by in October but November was a big question mark. During the beginning of my brief period of unemployment, I didn’t get out of bed much. I felt like a failure and just wanted to die, honestly. But I knew, deep down inside, that I’d asked for all of this. I asked for what was holding me back from achieving my dreams of being a full time writer to be taken from me. And it was. During a meditation, I asked a spirit guide why my job didn’t work out. The answer came to me quickly, without much effort to find it: “You weren’t writing.”
I changed up the altar and started studying Kether and Malkuth as one, specifically focusing on Lakshmi as the Queen of Pentacles. I wanted to bring abundance into my life since I’d leveled the playing field and had to start over. All of a sudden, my writing started coming together. My art and my Tarot writing got published in Witch Way Magazine, I finished my rewrite and resubmit and sent it back to Solistice Shadows. I also submitted the same manuscript to the publishing house my editor works for because it opened for submissions. Then I proposed a Tarot book to Schiffer Publishing and my idea is currently in review. Plus I’ve seen a pop in my Tarot reading.
So in the end, my purge, although painful and frightening, was effective. And just like a baby that was overwhelmed, I’ve adjusted to the new world I’m living in and I’m starting to understand how to control my creation a little better.
Now I’ve moved on to growing a garden in a new state of mind. I set out to figure out the puzzle that’s the Law of Attraction. Superficially, I set out to bring money to myself. But that was put to a halt by my new boss.
The big game changer was when I met my new boss. I can count them on one, maybe two, hands, but there have been a few people that I’ve met in my life that just seemed like holy people. Most of the time, they were normal people with a message about love and gratitude; people so humble that they don’t need a big following to spread the truth that was assigned to them to teach. They lived simple, normal lives and simply expressed genuine love and mindfulness to everyone they met. My boss is one of these people.
I’ve learned so much about gratitude in the short two weeks I’ve worked with her. She’s someone who has had to overcome some fantastic obstacles and yet she’s so thankful for the little things each day. She constantly makes me feel like my woes are just a drop in the bucket compared to what some people go through. She’s a believer in the Law of Attraction but she also approaches every day with a gracious conscious. She give freely and doesn’t expect things in return. She always has something positive to say and if I say something negative, she asks me how to make it more positive. She’s made me conscious of my thoughts, actions and words and it’s changing me as a person. But I didn’t realize how much this mindfulness ties into abundance at first.
In addition to studying abundance, I’ve began to study the paths of the Tree of Life as viewed through Tarot’s symbolism. The first card I studied was the Fool. It made me think about all the times in life I’ve taken a chance to start over. I’ve risked everything many times and made some Foolish decisions. But the Fool always takes up a quest without knowing what she’s getting herself into. My money has been so tight waiting for my new jobs to pay me and I wondered if I really was literally a fool for moving to Denver in the first place. But usually, when I hit the reset button on my life, it’s because I didn’t appreciate what I already had.
I went to the Denver Art Museum last Saturday night with my neighbors. We were in the Native American wing of the museum when I saw a painting that hit me so hard. It looked exactly how I would picture the Queen of Pentacles as a Native American woman. She reminded me of my idea of Lakshmi as the Queen of Pentacles (even though Laskhmi is a Hindu goddess, the colors of the painting were very colorful, like Hindu art). I stopped and read the plaque. But unlike the abundance the Queen of Pentacles offers, this painting was about the dark side of abundance: greed. The painting, “Jingle, Jingle”, by Judith Lowry, was a tribute to her cousin who was murdered for threatening to expose corruption in a Native American casino.
And it just sort of hit me that maybe I had this whole abundance thing wrong; that maybe I was approaching it from an angle of greed. But how could I find a way to attract wealth to me if I didn’t visualize myself having oodles of it? And more importantly, how could I live the life I wanted to live without being able to do what I love for a job. I’ve struggled my entire adult life with trying to be an artist because god damnit, that’s what I want to be now that I’m a grown up and I’m not ashamed of it. Artist isn’t some dirty word, it’s another word for love. The entire thing perplexed me and I turned the thought over and over in my head without much luck at finding an answer all weekend.
I started working on studying the Magician next. But the elusive Magician, ruled by tricky Mercury, was hard to pin down. I couldn’t get any of the gears of my altar/machine to work properly. I wasn’t learning anything. I stepped back for a few days and let thoughts marinate. Like Jack and the Bean Stock, I spent one of my last dollars in my budget for magical items on gum mastic and vervain to try to see if I could kick my work into motion with fire and air.
I followed my boss’ advice and re-watched The Secret on11/11/15 (New Moon). That movie/book has always really bothered me because I always felt that it focused too much on material things. Then it hit me. The thing that wasn’t properly addressed in the formula for success presented in The Secret (although it was touched on briefly) was the idea of giving without expectations. That means giving every day. Giving a smile, a kind word, or a small gift to someone just to say, “I’m thankful.”
That night, I successfully activated my altar. I can’t write about my discoveries here or what I did because that’s for the book I’m currently working on, but I can say that the 12th path of the Tree of Life, the Magician, when studied alongside Kether and Malkuth as one, brings powerful breakthroughs because yesterday and today, I’ve really started to understand the concept of giving out of gratitude, not just giving because you want something in return. And how simple giving can be. Before, I always thought I couldn’t give because I don’t have a lot of money. I was always troubled by this because I wanted to give, but I didn’t know how. But now I understand that because gifts come from the heart, they can be gifts of the heart. You can give your time, you love, your friendship … the kinds of gifts you can give are endless. I realized that I give my forecast every week as a gift to my readers. I work on it for three hours usually, and although I’m not paid for it, it helps people and that makes me happy. It’s a gift, and I hope you continue to enjoy it too.
Today when I was sorting through some earrings at work, the first pair of earrings I pulled out of the big bag was a pair of dangly money bags. My boss said that it’s a sign that I’m learning how to attract abundance to myself.
But I think the most valuable lesson I’ve learned after all is that kindness, gratitude and giving are worth more than all the money in the world.
“What would the world be like if we all realized our full potential.” — unknown