“Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you’ve imagined.” – Thoreau
Thirty years ago today, I was born into humble beginnings in the Nakagami District of the Okinawa Prefecture in Japan. Thirty years ago today was born an individual that would grow up to become stronger than her parents could have possibly imagined.
This individual is me.
From the outside looking in, my life has been anything but happy. And yet somehow, I bounced back every time. I lived through immense psychological and physical trauma in my childhood. That only increased during my seemingly short adolescence. By the time I hit nineteen I began to figure out how self-deluded I really was. I had periods of extreme happiness. Triumph. In my early to mid-twenties I had a dark night of the soul. I was defeated. I spent several years becoming addicted to games. I lived those years of my life inside a computer. Then one day in January of 2009, I started to wake myself back up.
My late teens and early twenties I had accomplished a lot. I had a successful band. We were signed to a record label. We were playing out across the country. It was wonderful in some ways, and terrible in others. I did things few people would barely imagine doing. I lost myself in my art.
I became the most unhappy in my life when I lost touch with that side of myself. Sure, I became overwhelmed by depression. But never once did I consider suicide. Deep down, I knew that I alone had the power to change my own destiny. And I did.
I ended up getting myself together. I absconded from the place I never regarded as home. I headed to the East Coast to find myself. And found myself I have.
Here I am, standing at the door to the rest of my life. It’s my thirtieth birthday and I’m sitting here happy. I am a success.
I am not a success because of what I have. Material possessions ultimately mean nothing for happiness. Happiness is achieved when you find the good in everything that happens to you. You decide to be happy. To someone who is happy, we welcome adversity. But we don’t treat it as something that defeats who we are. So what if we fall? What’s the worst that could happen? You have to get up again?
Being successful means living through the tough things that stand in the way of your goals and dreams. Being successful means following through. It means making promises to yourself. It means being honest. It means loving who you are because you are worthy of love.
For the most part bad things happen to people because they want them to happen. Think of bad things as a gift from yourself, to yourself. Good things work in the same way.
Everything is perspective. Never compromise yourself for anything that seeks to destroy who you really are. Including yourself.
You alone are responsible for who you are–for who you are to become. You are an island in a sea of stars.
I’m standing here at the door to the rest of my life–smiling. My childhood is finally over. And I’m standing here at the door to the rest of my life–so proud to be who I have become.
“What I ‘discovered’ was that happiness is not something that happens. It is not the result of a good fortune or random chance. It is not something that money can buy or power command. It does not depend on outside events, but, rather, on how we interpret them. Happiness, in fact, is a condition that must be prepared for, cultivated, and defended privately by each person. People who learn to control inner experience will be able to determine the quality of their lives, which is as close as any of us can come to being happy.”
This is a working I wrote by myself. I performed it on February 8th, 2015 prior to leaving for my facial feminization surgery in Spain. I do apologize for the commentary that follows it for being so long. I feel it is necessary to discuss at length my results.
I prepared for this working for over a month. I did a lot of Tai Chi during the month of January to get me grounded into a system of concentration that allowed me to focus on an intent of this rite.
My intent for performing and writing this rite was a simple one. I wanted to rewire myself to embrace my feminine aspect of myself isolating it away from my masculine side. I wanted to fully kill my male identity in my subjective universe. By doing this, it would also effect the way I carried myself in the objective universe–making me unashamed to be who I am. This rite would tip these goals into my favor. Despite living as a full time woman for ten years time–I’ve been forced, due to the nature of my previous work as an actress to play roles better suited for young hot-headed men. I refuse to do that any more. Aspects of my five years of acting began to clog up my medial self and program me to fall into some of my more male aspects at times that did not benefit me. I wanted to bring my subjective feminine self into the objective universe.
While I won’t disclose the full contents of my magical diary here with regards to my recording of the result, I will paraphrase the moment I knew I was successful.
This rite was meant to put me into a liminal space before my major surgery to allow this to happen by manifesting confidence in myself. It was successful and I’ll share the exact moment that I realized I achieved an extremely rare moment of Xeper in spite of it.
From the moment I began to travel to Spain on February 9th, everything was chaos. There was nothing calm about my travel to Spain. My first flight was cancelled, although I was able to make it by getting United to fly me to two separate cities I wasn’t meant to go to. I made the Newark flight with two minutes to go, running on the tarmac to make it. During the security checkpoint this woman ran into the security checkpoint chasing a man. She promptly started to beat the crap out of this guy punching him, yelling at him, tearing at his flesh. I didn’t have time to watch. This was the first of many little incidents to happen following the rite. It was WAY too weird that it was a woman beating up a man during all the chaos of me trying to make the Newark flight. A woman beating a man! Who would’ve thought? I definitely made a connection with this with regards to my rite.
Madrid was chaos. I nearly missed my flight by twelve minutes as the airport was a labyrinth of confusion and when I landed I had half an hour to get to my next flight. Getting to Marbella was oddly calm. Ultimately, when I got there I felt very comfortable, without trepidation for my surgery the day after the next one. Very calm vibes going on there. The really weird stuff started happening the night following my 9-hour procedure to feminize my facial structure.
On February 10th 2015, as the nurses transferred my small body from bed to bed. I finally made it to the surgical slab, While the anesthesiologist standing over me in his Pink Panther hat I calmly repeated over and over again a little mantra I got from Don Webb’s “Uncle Setnakt’s Essential Guide to the Left Hand Path.”
“It is my destiny to become a Lady of the Left Hand Path. Doors will open!”
My body was becoming cold all around. I was dying. Again and again I said this to myself until I passed out from the anesthesia.
Before I woke up I remember floating upwards, naked, in an ocean of black. Little bubbles all around me. Then I came into the world crying. Reborn. I threw three stomachs of blood up and could barely open my eyes. I’ll never forget when they put this mask on me that I had to wear for three days in the hospital. This was the last mask I was going to have to wear. I was completely overcome by nausea, dry mouth, the works. As a person who has never did any controlled substances, including alcohol, coffee, smoking, drugs of any kind, this nausea hit me HARD. That night of was the hardest night of my life. On top of all of this I couldn’t get the song “All That Jazz” from Chicago, especially the opening theme out of my head. I felt like the doctors must have listened to it while they were cutting into my flesh. Which is interesting because that show is a revenge tale involving women who killed their husbands. Another connection to the rite.
While I laid in bed for two days, unable to open my swollen eyes I had my fiancé Victor read me Judith Page’s “Song of Set.” Her poem made me slightly emotional as the way she wrote the poem really struck a chord with what I was going through. He also insisted on reading Lovecraft, so he also did “Beyond the Wall of Sleep” for me as well. His choice was oddly interesting, seeing that I was manifesting myself through this surgery from the “sleeping world” from my subjective “light body” to the realm beyond it, into the objective universe. After the nurse pulled my catheter out I was ready to get up. I was done lying around like a mini-Osiris in stasis. I had to get up. I had to get up now.
From those first active moments of me walking around the hospital even though my body resisted, I felt in control. When I was released from the hospital I was greeted with two nights that were rather sleepless. When I did sleep, I had psychedelic nightmares as the meds slowly got out of my system. Thanks Set! I recorded these nightmares in detail in my diary.
Again, I will paraphrase these from my diary. The first of these nightmares I saw myself as who the world thought I was. And then I experienced a rebirth. There was a hippopotamus beyond a beige brick, Mayan looking wall killing these huge crows or ravens by chomping down on them making them wet with their own internal fluids. He then threw these crows over this wall with his mouth and the birds landed in a pile. There were SO MANY black birds. Wet, bloody, gory stuff. And I couldn’t breathe. I couldn’t breathe because I was in the middle of that pile of dead birds. I forced myself to climb out of the pile. As I reached the top of the pile, there was this film around my body trying to hold me back from escaping. I punctured my hand through to the other side. I woke up and immediately recorded this.
The next night I got stuck in a loop of nightmares for two hours. I tried to wake up but I couldn’t. These dreams were the most vivid I’ve ever had in my life.
I found myself in a crater of fire surrounded by black. I was naked, and there was a crimson hue floating above my head. I heard this voice talking about “the nature of darkness.” This was a very long drawn out diatribe and I was forced to listen to it. After hearing this I heard something skitter next to my head, but I couldn’t move to see it. I was paralyzed. Then I realized that the skittering was below me, and on all sides. This being was insect like. I could hear it breathing through it’s skin. Whatever had been talking to me I was lying on top of. Blacks and reds. Blacks and reds.
The dreams that followed were about fathers. A very male thing. I had an older Italian dad come outside to my car and explain to me how he liked having salt placed in a very specific way conveniently right outside his vehicle. His son, John, a friend of mine, came outside to stop him from bothering me. Later when I was awake I recounted this part of the dream to John’s wife Claire over the phone. As I described the old man’s mannerisms and look, she said that had strangely sounded like John’s father to a T. The thing about it was, however, is that I never met the man, and neither had Claire because he was dead for about six years now. John later confirmed with me how eerily all of these details were to his actual father.
The following dream was a terrible loop concerning my own father. In this dream he owned a slave ring of people who he trafficked to kill each other for profit, much like dog fighting. He owned the town which was right winged and filled to the brim with bigots and Nazis. I tried many times to escape by car, motorcycle, and walking. For some reason, I kept getting put into my dad’s mansion which every time made me feel like he was ready to kill me with more and more malice each and every time I tried to escape.
On a hot summer afternoon I sang an anthem in a parking lot to a group of white supremacists. I ended up back at my dad’s house right after that without warning. Eventually when I did escape, I was greeted with a row of poorly dressed Neo-Nazis parading a brutally beaten black guy around who was passing out plastic American flags out. As I passed them I ended up putting a knife meant for my father into the poor man’s body so I could help to stop his suffering. These guys were pissed I killed the poor guy. They kept saying “Get your own nigger” etc. etc. They kept walking though. I eventually found myself in a Neo-Nazi compound. Inside was basically section 8 housing for Neo-Nazis. There were thugs beating each other over and over again.
There was this demon lady was running around biting their heads off sideways. As I tried to reach an exit, the lady started to chase me. As I finally reached the door, I found myself outside on a roof. I viewed a gorgeous vast suburban residential area by night. This Nazi in a blue shirt and red suspenders followed me because he was also running from the demon. She bit his head off sideways. The blood got all over me. She then focused on me. I fought her though.
I stabbed her body everywhere, but she wouldn’t die. I finally shoulder tackled her and wrapped both of my hands firmly around the knife. I brought it down in between her forehead. I remember seeing her curly brown hair wrap itself around my hands as her eyes started to pop out of her skull. I brought the blade down again. And again. I smashed her face in. But she still wasn’t dead, until I brought it down once more. She stopped moving. I fell to the ground. When I fell to the ground I noticed that my physical appearance had completely changed from my old, androgynous self, to a fully female body. I was so tired, drenched with sweat. I tried to roll off the roof to the residential area by the dead demon lady contorted into an impossible position. Her bones were crackling as this happened and then he entire body opened up. I saw an infinitude of circular lamprey like teeth and then she leaped towards me. I woke up immediately.
I ended up going to the ocean that day to see the Mediterranean. I felt completely at peace there. Collected some sea shells, like I did in my childhood. I even found a fully formed conch, unbroken, ready for me to send home. I had a small cry. The ocean was beautiful and still. It was Marbella’s off-season so there was nobody there. This was out of character for me, as I often suppressed my emotions. I stopped after about three minutes.
The next few days I moved around more and more. I even was able to wash my own hair despite having a modified coronal incision (an ear-to-ear cut to get at my skull).
On February 18th, 2015 I had a moment of Xeper. I went to High Care Hospital with Dana, a future patient of the surgical team there, and Jenny the surgical aftercare nurse I was staying with downtown for the duration of my trip. Dressed in black head to toe, I wore a chic Zara dress I had saved just for this moment, dubbing it my “Victory Dress.” Tamara, the coordinator for Facial Team, took me up the left path of the external offices for the hospital. She said it was nice that I was looking so good. I replied “Yes, I’m starting to feel human again, so I figured I would dress as a human.” We entered into Dr. Simon and Dr. Capitán’s glass gilded offices and I took a seat. A nurse in the internal office beckoned over to me to come lie down so she could remove my stitches. The stitches in the scalp weren’t so bad. Upper lip easy. Neck, not too bad. The nose stitches were TERRIBLE to get out. So painful. Dr. Capitán came in to have a look at me. He said he was in a hurry to meet with his young daughter who was feeling ill but he and I made contact long enough that I just broke down into tears. For some reason he started to well up too. I saw him fighting tears. I had been talking to this man for the last year trying to coordinate this surgery. He left shortly after that. I was still in tears. I was sad to see him go. After all the stitches were removed, I still continued to cry but I couldn’t understand why. It wasn’t from my bruised face in the mirror. Or the pain from the stitches.
Dr. Simon and Dr. Belinga came in to go over with me the results of the surgery. They went over my CT scans, and what I should be expecting to see over the course of the year in terms of changes to my face. My face would be healing more and more everyday. After about twenty minutes, we said our goodbyes and I was left with Tamara.
Tamara who was initially cold to me during the pre-operative interviews, started to talk to me for the next hour. We were completely alone, isolated from the rest of the world in this small glass office, in the richest part of Spain. I left there in complete adoration of her because of what happened in there next.
As I sat crying she asked me a line of questions that lined everything up for me. She asked my religious beliefs etc.
“Do you believe in God? In a higher power?” she asked.
“Not in the traditional sense, no.” I replied.
I didn’t feel like this was the time or the place to explain LHP philosophy to a lady who might not understand or might not want to understand. She then surprised me by saying she didn’t hold beliefs in the traditional sense either, she wasn’t christian, jewish, or muslim she explained. She was self-styled. Much like myself. It was here how I noticed her incredible likeness to my first viola teacher Michelle Vari who I adored. Michelle, became the basic archetype for what it meant to embrace my femininity on the subconscious level. And here Tamara was, sitting in front of me, half way across the world looking and carrying herself exactly like Michelle. It was like a door to the past was left creaked open.
I told her how hard it was for me to get here. No one had ever given me anything. I came from near poverty, and fought for ten years from when I first started my transition at 19 to now, at 29. I saved every penny. I forced myself to meet the right people. I made connections to make things easier. I lived in less than desirable situations with prostitutes, child molesters, and rapists. I took jobs I hated, and did things I didn’t want to, just to get by. Everything I did was to keep fighting for my facial feminization surgery. I never lost sight of it. I told her how I knew my fiancé before he was a lawyer. Before he was anything. Victor had helped me get here as we both saved a lot over the next two years. We paid the cost of the surgery outright in full. For two 29 year olds, that pretty impressive. He had helped me get here, and I loved him.
Tamara moved closer from behind her desk and pulled a chair in front of me. I was still crying. I didn’t know why. It was just happening. She took both of my hands into hers and then told me what I regard as a moment of Xeper, validating my claim to womanhood. She told me things I was struggling to reach for from my subconscious.
“There’s no one else in this world who can give you anything you want except yourself. Not your fiancé, not some god, or anything else that might assume some measure of control over you. No one can give you anything except for yourself. Nicole, this happened now, because it was the right time. It had to happen. But only because now was the right time. You are responsible for yourself. You made this happen.”
As she spoke these words I realized I had experienced Xeper in that moment. I felt like she conferred some secret code of womanhood to me in that moment. I felt genuine emotional energy. And I was finally able to justify why I had started to cry without knowing. After ten years of enduring sacrifice, and Hell, and un-seeable future of darkness, fear that I might not live long enough to see the day of my remanifestation, I got here. This was a journey’s end. And I felt it. In that moment Tamara was Set. I was Tamara’s reflection. I was Set. She had validated me. I had validated myself. I stood at the door of my next journey. These are all the reasons I ended up crying without knowing. I had experienced Xeper. This is why I was crying. I had become a Goddess in that moment, changing myself physically. Bringing my subjective universe into the objective one.
As we walked back up the path to the main hospital, I took a seat next to Dana and Jenny. I showed Jenny all my CT scans. We were all astounded by the profound differences the surgical team was able to achieve.
That night the three of us when to a steakhouse in Marbella Estascion. It was a nice time. I had some tea and some cold salmon tapas that I ended up not liking. Jenny left the table to go smoke a cigarette outside. As Dana and I sat there amidst all the craziness of the restaurant, she and I started talking.
“You know—when you and Tamara were walking back up to the hospital today from your post-op you were different. You walked away as somebody else and came back as a completely different person. That was interesting.”
“In a good way I hope?” I asked.
“Yes, I feel like I’m talking to the real you now.”
In two days time I will be headed to the future to transform myself. I’ll be six hours ahead, in a little city on the Mediterranean once founded by Phonecians. I’m going to be having an extensive procedure done which will further manifest my subjective self into the objective universe. It’s been about eight years since I put my mind on this goal and next week, I’ll be bringing into being.
When investing in your subjective self you need to pay yourself before you pay anyone else.
So what have you done for yourself today? Every goal requires not only careful planning, but the persistence and the motivation to not give up on what you truly intend for yourself.
If you want something bad enough it will happen. It takes real work. And if it doesn’t happen? You didn’t want it bad enough.
I had to laugh when I re-read Don Webb’s from “Uncle Setnakt’s Essential Guide to the Left Hand Path” this January and found a quote that was incredibly relevant to my current situation: “Maybe you’re going to start graduate school. Maybe it’s your thirtieth birthday. Maybe you’re about to move to Australia. Maybe you’re getting that sex change operation.” (Webb 90) Yep. Totally. Laughed at how relevant this was. Pick two guys. Pick two.
Stop being lazy. Go get what you want.
If you want something done there’s nobody that’s going to do it for you except yourself.
Xepera Xeper Xeperu.
Webb, Don. “Uncle Setnakt’s Essential Guide to the Left Hand Path.” Smithville: Rûna-Raven Press, 1999. Print.