Begin Again

may the bridges I burn light the way

Where I live, the effects of the pandemic really got going in early March 2020. Overnight, businesses were closed, grocery store shelves were emptied, and new protocols were instituted. For this introvert, orders to stay home were a mixed blessing affording me lots of time for reading but also a significant reduction of income.

I enrolled in herbalism and astrology courses, providing much needed structure to my studies. Adding Ancient Greek and Latin feels like the best graduate school program ever. In between chapters and units, I read books. A long-term project has been to upgrade my library and shed the more egregiously bad occult literature. If my weltanshaunng is a puzzle, I’ve ripped out huge chunks of pieces from the picture – furiously refining my understanding of things.

After some serious health problems (I’m now minus one appendix), I’ve taken up walking in my neighborhood. The Halloween decorations have been out since the end of September. Some have transformed their entire front yards into zombie graveyards with skeletal armies worthy of the 1963 stop-motion Jason and the Argonauts film. Political posters are mixed in with the pumpkins and mummies in perhaps an accidental statement about the nightmare of another election cycle.

When out walking, I’m aware of the cameras and surveillance equipment. The feeling of being watched is unshakable. Trading poor quality videos of hooded figures stealing packages and rummaging through unlocked cars is a pastime of locals. As if anyone could identify the thief and have whatever Amazon purchase returned. The signs announcing the use of Ring devices, next to signs depicting a dog taking a shit, asking for “respect” deface otherwise attractive façades.

Although mindful of October’s astrology serving up some rocky interpersonal times – it hasn’t ceased to amaze me the denizens of the internet who can’t wait to tell you you’re doing it wrong. Because Science! Because Republicans! Because Democrats! Because studies show…! Lord preserve me from those confident in their conviction that they know what is best.

As a result, my presence and interaction on the internet grows smaller and smaller. Twitter and Instagram won’t be opened until at least until the middle of November. As others who should know better continue to act as thought police, pockets of the internet I used to frequent have been abandoned.

Instead, I follow breadcrumbs. Hastily scratched notes about things I’ve read, things intuited – from Trance Dancing with the Djinn to Mystai – following Dionysos and Ariadne to Hades and Persephone to Ishtar and her sister Ereshkigal to Jesus, and the Blessed Virgin and Mary Magdalene. Psilocybin and frankincense and myrrh. The scents of jasmine and roses and relics. I’ve plumbed the depths of my family history on and found surprising results. And then back again, noting patterns of sun signs and dates in my family tree and remembering bits of research of daimons, and genius, and household gods. Janus looks forward and backward.

I’m looking to Captain Jack Sparrow to help me find what I truly want – pointing the way to freedom. We can name the inequities and the abuses and the issues. We focus on attempting to balance the scales. If however, imagination is the foundation of physical reality – and I believe it is – if it cannot be imagined, it cannot exist. How can we have running water and jet airplane travel, yet not be subject to all the -isms and evils thereof? I can’t imagine what is better, not yet. Or maybe I’m just not reading the right fiction. So I keep querying my compass. If I get lucky, I’ll be good and truly lost.

What am I still doing here? Why am I still typing away here at my keyboard? Now that some of the mental fog has lifted, I have several posts on deck, starting with completing my series on A Year of Ceremonial Magic. I completed the year-long operation, but didn’t finish writing the last two months of practice. I will wrap up that series with an epilogue. Then I’m excited to publish more recent items including ancestor praxis, cleansing & banishing practices, and more adventures in real estate.

It’s been almost a year since a dear friend passed away. A few weeks before she was gone, we talked about writing. She encouraged me to continue, to be terrible, or pathetic, or whatever other horrible adjectives I came up with to describe my writing. I asked her if it was tacky to write about abuses. Anger. Trauma. Gently, she told me no, it wasn’t tacky, but added that I would do well to provide warnings.

So, consider this your warning. I won’t be pulling punches, nor will I begin every post with a caution sign. I seem to be blind to what others find offensive, uncomfortable, or triggering. I speak and write about difficult topics with a frank matter-of-factness and I can never tell if it is the topic, or the baldness with which I discuss them that makes people squirm. I won’t bother to further twist myself into knots trying to figure it out. I assume we’re all adults here and that you can read about tough things. After all, how much violent media have you consumed? Reality television, talk shows, and so-called social media – hours and hours of immersion in the worst humanity has to offer? Let’s be honest because I too have wasted much of my time on these things.

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