In all directions, I see mountains. And beyond those mountains exist the Great Darkness. Nothingness. Abstraction. Time moving forward, dragging its rusted body across the dimensions in a spiral. Every minute inevitibility comes more and more into focus. What does it mean to End? I gorge on the Never, bringing into being a renewal of sacrifice. My subconscious, a conduit, digests that which lies on the other side of the black towering Eclipse. My first deed, created out of the earth like a disfigured shape wrapped in decay, engulfs the whole of the earth in flaming fire.
Yes, I am willing to forget myself for myself. Sacrificing the who I was for the who I am to be.
The walls do weep the saddest shade of red wailing for relief to shine the light of divinity elsewhere. Their shadows creep towards the pinnacle strangling every rose that dare bloom in the absent sun.
O HOLY, HOLY, HOLY is she who raises the glass of invention. Her flesh a vessel to be shed–motionless and Dead.
Raise up your beleaguered body from the ashes of the old, for there exist no gods without imperfection, the means to create, and the ability to recognize that even the future can be reshaped and disfigured in the image of We.
Hard is the heart of fate. And every tribute? A feast for the hand of Me.
Meta is a term that’s been kicking around in various gaming communities for a few years now. When we talk about meta in a game it is the self-referential process which something must be done in order to arrive at a satisfying conclusion. I.E. Winning. This process can be changed and can evolve with time through trial and error. Meta urges players like Rûna urges initiates to seek out the proverbial “hidden.” For instance when you sit down and play a game like Guilty Gear X2 meta compels players to act and react in certain ways against other players. As older strategies for dealing with other players become common place, meta-game evolves as a way to leverage potential future victories against your fellow competitors.
Meta, much like Rûna is able to be applied to how we form questions and answers, discover solutions to old problems, and arrive at new questions as a result of those solutions. Compelling literature and television shows, can offer a microcosmic depiction of how the process of Rûna can work and how it also is meta at the same time.
Rûna is what you might call an impelling word. Through Rûna we are driven to seek out seemingly hidden questions and unknown curiosities that burn deep within the mythos of the self. She whispers simplicity to which we reply with dissatisfaction.
First time viewers to the anime (巌窟王) “Gankutsuou,” an adaptation of Dumas’s “The Count of Monte Cristo” is an example of how our curiosity for the world we cannot see can drive us to obsessive investigation. Who is the Count? Why is he making an effort to become acquainted with Albert? What is his relationship to Mercedes? etc.
In the fantasy microcosm that is Gankutsuou we are exposed to a world that is filled with more and more questions. When new details are brought into focus, our perception warps triggering false positives, blurring our interpretation of previous questions we may have had before.
When we witness the mysterious we are driven by our curiosity to discover what makes it so. This is what makes Rûna is an impelling word. This force of curiosity is also the primary cause of how the meta-game in various gaming communities are both created and destroyed.
“Gankutsuou” is an exercise in how the mind can work when exposed to a body of work that provides few answers. It replaces these answers with whispers of details that provide the viewer/witness with questions, and questions within questions. These questions are intentionally meant to steer us off course. And in order to illicit an emotional response through the resolution of the process that is “Gankutsuou” we must be bombarded by an extended session of false answers and questions. This allows us to witness a transformation of the hidden into an unexpected tragic loss of life or ideals.
It’s all very meta. Of course, Rûna in it of itself is meta. You have a question about something that’s completely unknown to you? Try to find the answer. You’ll always find a bombardment of more questions, many of which often reference one another. The subtle irony in all of this is the simple idea that when we arrive at an answer we will always find a way to pose another question as to why we’ve arrived at that specific answer.
In an initiatory sense, the process of becoming is also meta. Lady Rûna urges you to evolve through her “Awaken, See, Act” mantra only to have you start once again when you reach your next preferred state of existence. Initiation is a room of mirrors stretching into the very limits of your desire to continue with it.
Application–Awaken, See, Act
Speaking from personal experience, I’ve spent the better part of the last year just completely at a loss of what I needed to do in order to feel “whole.” It’s hasn’t been an easy ride. Leaving New England last June meant I was leaving all of the things that I used to do in that space.
The only thing guiding me through this new and unknown life in the desert of Arizona has been my curiosity for the possible. Rûna, like a fly buzzing in my ear has been urging me to seek out new avenues in which I can be sovereign in this new space. I’ve had a lot of false starts–I even tried to do some of the same things I did back in Massachusetts. Unfortunately, I’ve come up short every time.
One of the things I’ve become hyper focused on in my life through this period of trial and error is an investigation of what it means to live a balanced lifestyle. This is directly related to how I view myself in an unfettered sovereign environment. It is also related to how I view myself in general.
If achieving a more balanced lifestyle is the answer to my current dissatisfaction in my life then how do I get there?
A balanced lifestyle only has one law: don’t spread out too much into one direction. It’s all too easy to become too situated into an easy lifestyle, which means having concern for being comfortable. In the 21st century, the easy lifestyle means spending 80% of your day on your ass and the other 20% finding ways to spend it there. We relax entirely too much. Relaxation has its place, but it isn’t something that makes me feel particularly fulfilled.
I need strife. So where do I find it? Over the last year, I slacked real hard on physical activity. In New England, I used to work a job where I was on my feet all day. I now work a job where I sit at a desk all day. Add that to a rather sedentary lifestyle at home and you have a recipe for disaster.
The question I’ve had for myself over the last nine months was, “What can I do to add something physical to my lifestyle?” I assessed what I knew and came up with several possibilities.
Running isn’t all that fun. I used to run five miles four times a week with my Rhodesian Ridgeback. It sucked. Anyone that says it’s amazing is wrong. Running sucks. Stop lying to yourself, the human body isn’t made to run long distances like that. Aerobics also suck. I used to do that a few times a week as well. Both are hard on the knees, and both aren’t especially cerebral. I’ve never been the kind of person to enjoy team sports, or lift weights either. So what else is there?
I played with the idea of doing Wing Chun for MONTHS. I really liked the style after watching Ip Man four times in a row one day. I never acted on the idea, however, since the only place to learn it in Tucson that wasn’t a McDojo was an hour drive from my apartment. Long drives can get brutal. I eventually settled on joining a group that did Tai Chi at our local Chinese Cultural Center. I went religiously every Tuesday and soon caught on that it was a club for 60+ singles to bang after class. I discovered that Tai Chi had some things I liked, although it wasn’t exactly what I was looking for. Especially when it came to joining in on extra curricular activities with people twice my age. I’m sure they would’ve loved that.
Old. Hairy. Balls. SAY NO MORE. I’M ALL SET.
My search continued. It was clear that I wanted to do martial arts. I spent more time looking, researching, visiting places to pursue my interest in martial arts further. Like a fly buzzing in my ear, my fiance kept mentioning a dojo to me that he tried a class out at last summer. He said they did three hour training sessions twice a week, which had scared him away from it. They did this weird style of martial art I had never heard of–Bagua Zhang. The best part? The dojo was less than a mile away in a re-purposed villa down a hidden road.
I was scared. I decided to email them for more information, to which they said I should come down and give it a try. I asked my fiance if I’d be okay going down there on my own, and he seemed to think that I would. I was still scared despite having his vote of confidence. The attention that one woman can get in a place swamped with a bunch of men can be intimidating.
In the end, I decided to make the short drive out to their dojo to investigate whether or not this was something I could get on board with.
The dojo was very traditional. I was greeted by two evil looking chinese guardian lions on the outside, and four very quiet people on the inside slapping the shit out of their bodies. They were warming up. I jumped in. The dojo had a nice vibe to it. Wooden chinese style shutters. No a/c. No punishing fluorescent lights. There were paintings of various Wudang masters all around us. There was a huge imposing statue on the far end. The training session was oddly quiet. I felt like I could genuinely hear myself think in there. My workday melted away. I came back for another session. And then another. And another.
I had just successfully added meaningful physical activity to my weekly routine. And besides, how many people do you know have a bunch of old Wudang masters watching them workout for six hours a week? I know at least one now!
I’m by no means near the end of my never ending pursuit of the hidden. As I’ve come to find out in my practice of Bagua Zhang there is so much I don’t know about myself. There are so many variables to consider that I was never aware of–for example, making deliberate movements requires an intense control over your consciousness. I feel like in the practice of this art I’m somehow interfacing with a part of myself I never knew. In the previous iterations of myself I always regarded myself to be an intellectual. For some reason though, while Bagua is an intense and difficult workout I have been excelling at it. Much to my surprise. I never knew I had this much belly fire. Maybe I actually have the capacity to be physically “intellectual.” Might as well give it the old college try while I’m young.
I mean what’s the worst that can happen? I develop a lifelong practice that will prove everything I used to think about myself wrong?
Part of figuring out where we want to go in life has to do with finding our own answers. Like a math problem we’re often given the answer first. Curiosity for what hides behind the value of X, is the why, the how, and the means to arrive at the desired answer. Sometimes you don’t get it the first or second time. Sometimes you don’t even get it the third time around. Pursuing wonder is what drives the working initiate forward into the places he or she wants to go. Losing that sense of wonder takes them away from it.
I woke up this morning and realized that I’m not okay. I realized that I am an easy going person. That I don’t let anything bother me. Even if those things should bother me. I blow them off with laughter, put on a facade, or use selective hearing to block them out. I figure that if my brain doesn’t register something as a conflict then I can avoid it.
For as long as I can remember I’ve regarded myself to be an autonomous individual. But honestly, that couldn’t be so far from the truth. I’m evasive. I care what other people think, and what I say always takes a back seat to the agendas of others.
Being an easy going person is wonderful for everyone–except yourself. You make certain concessions to your personality that allow you to “overlook” the shortcomings of others. To concepts that you disagree with. And to the situations that you could’ve avoided all together if you would’ve just put your foot down instead of doing the nice thing.
The nice thing isn’t always the right thing. And as I’ve come to realize sometimes the right thing isn’t always nice.
Courage is what makes this especially troubling to deal with. I tend to be naturally scared of the world. Of doing things. Of doing the things I like to do. Of telling people what I think. Typically, if the risk is too high I don’t bother to take it for fear of what might happen if I do.
It’s easy to look at initiation and simply say, “it’s hard.” Yeah–it’s hard. But that’s not enough of a reason to understand why it’s like that. Over the course of my own initiatory work I’ve become bombarded by ideas, personalities, and concepts that beg for you to accept them as valuable and worthy of assimilation into your own sense of self. At the end of the day though, the difference between a successful examination of these three things and a failed one is determined by a fine line how much of it you actually buy into.
The situation: You join the Temple of Set. You become excited at all the possibilities of having a magical school in your back pocket to use as a tool for your own initiation. You shred through all the materials available to you in the Crystal Tablet and at the end of the day you’re nodding your head. You agree with everything that you’ve read. And seeing that you’re in this for the long haul–you can’t afford to fail in understanding the basic ideas brought forth to you during your mutual evaluation period.
You’re sucking up this bombardment of ideas so fast that you’re absorbing none of it. And you’re losing the ideas so quickly that you don’t have any way to clean yourself up long enough to make any sense of it. Yes, the Setian method of initiation is messy. But make no mistake, there are no shotgun weddings in the Temple of Set.
So you got your blue belt in a year at your local McDojo. What a badass you are. I’m sure you earned it. You earned that blue belt in a year because you bought into it. With money. Just so your Ted Danson lookalike of a sensei could proclaim that you had the skills to pay his bills with your credit card. At least you look smooth in that gi.
I’m rolling my eyes right about now.
Cultivating self-honesty is partially responsible for why initiation is exceedingly difficult to continue paying attention to over time.
Nothing in your world worth doing is ever easy.
And just because you understand something doesn’t mean that you must also agree with it.
Buying into every idea that comes your way makes you less of an individual. Being open to the possibility of philosophical, ethical, and logical divergence, however, does make you become more like yourself. Having the bellyfire to disagree with an idea, a concept, or a person gives you a good indicator that you’re headed in the right (or should I say left?) direction that’s both unique and individual to your initiatory needs.
Back in 2011 I had a really tough choice to make. It was a little after a year since I rebounded from rock bottom. The year before I was so broke that I almost prostituted myself in order to pay for tuition to one of the many expensive New England universities. As my bills closed in all around me, I desperately started applying for jobs everywhere. Somehow, by some immense luck I was hired to work the world’s shittiest retail job. This job wasn’t glamorous or fun by any means, but it paid the bills. By the end of 2011 I decided that I had a choice:
1. Finish my school and be more in debt than I could ever hope to pay back with the English degree I was going for.
2. Buckle up and work my ass off in order to work towards paying for facial feminization.
I chose to buckle up.
Fast forward to 2015, it was a solid choice that paid off. I’m always worried that I’m a goddamn quitter, but I suppose that’s not an accurate observation of myself. I’m just not a multi-tasker—because who believes in that bullshit phenomena? I had the foresight to understand the needs of my big SELF and ran with it. If I had decided to go the school route I probably would’ve ended up quitting eventually anyway.
During this four year period, I read absolutely nothing. Unless you count Kotaku, but let’s get real, Kotaku doesn’t count. Reading Kotaku is more like reading a coloring book. I probably killed more brain cells reading it than if I had read nothing at all. Amidst all of this heavy mental lifting I ultimately decided in late 2014 that I needed something to rekindle my reading spirit. Enter Ipssismus Don Webb’s book “The Seven Faces of Darkness: Practical Typhonian Magic” (#2AG). I was drawn to this book for a few reasons:
1. Its scarcity. At the time there weren’t any reprints available for any of Ipsissmus Webb’s more popular Rûna-Raven books. It made me want to get a hold of it even more.
2. I had just finished marathoning American Horror Story: Coven. This show was rocket fuel for me. It definitely inspired me to investigate the Left Hand Path moreso than I had done in the past.
3. At the time, I recently played Bayonetta 2 and replayed Bayonetta 1. As someone who once sang about dissecting angels in a Satanic Black Metal band I felt connected with Bayonetta on a visceral level. A witch that kicked angels asses? I could see myself doing that. What was the next best thing? Investigating the writings of Ipsissmus Webb of course! I can’t explain how that works into any kind of rational thought, but that’s how it went!
Initially, I decided against buying (#2AG) in light of the fact that it was going for almost $300 USD on Amazon. I found a really crappy PDF copy of this book online that I had to reformat. I eventually ended up buying physical copies of Ipsissimus Webb’s entire Rûna-Raven backlog from Lodestar after they were re-printed earlier this year (2015).
As someone who knew absolutely nothing about traditional ceremonial magic “The Seven Faces of Darkness” proved to be an invaluable resource. If I could call (#2AG) anything I would call it a crash course in what it means to be a practical traveler upon the seemingly not-so-practical roads of the Left Hand Path initiate. The Left-Hand Path isn’t exactly the easiest thing to understand from the outside looking in. “Seven Faces” gave me a small taste on some of the more intricate aspects of a traditional magical system–Hermeticism, without overwhelming me with the drier details. Those drier details I found later in other books like Ipsissimus Flowers “Hermetic Magic: The Postmodern Magical Papyrus of Abaris” (#3Y), and Franz Bardon’s “Initiation into Hermetics.”
I will admit, upon my first reading of “The Seven Faces of Darkness” I felt very confused about what I needed to take away from it. I found Chapter 6 on “Spells” to incredibly useless—at first. The selection of the PGM (Papyri Graecae Magicae) available in this chapter is home to some pretty heinous shit. The first time I read the words for the Coptic spell “Oil Spell for Sealing a Marriage with Hot Sex” I laughed a little bit. I couldn’t ever see myself using most of these spells within the context of how they were written. As I look back at them a year later, I see something different. I see examples–models which I can apply to my own workings.
As a former English major I take an interest in understanding context. Especially with details that might not be entirely apparent at first glance. For example, Dante’s “Inferno” can be interpreted as an allegory for the political conflict going on in Florence during the 14th century between the Pope and the Holy Roman Emperor. Dante even puts people he actually knew in real life, like Filippo Argenti, in the poem.
(Incoming EXTREMELY loaded paragraphs…)
Of course, understanding the historical context of something seven hundred years old isn’t nearly as difficult as trying to ascertain the “assumed” to be second and third century contextual meanings of Hermeticism. I say assumed, because there are so many details we don’t know about Marsilio Ficino’s translation of the “Corpus Hermetica.” The “Corpus Hermetica” was “lost” during the middle ages but magically reappeared after the de Medici family acquired it somewhere in Byzantine.
Alchemy was in vogue during the Renaissance and much of the Ficino translation—appears to be biased towards the “lead to gold” obsession of the seventeenth century. Regardless, let’s assume his translation is based off of authentic texts used to compile the Hermetic Corpus. It’s still not first hand information. I would say it’s more like third or fourth hand information. Contextually, much of what we have from Ficino’s translation is through the lens of the seventeenth century alchemical philosophy and not from the entire perspective of the second century author(s) of the Hermetic Corpus.
Much of what the original authors of the PGMs were going for have been all but lost. Unless, of course, we take an educated guess as to what they were going for and applying that knowledge to what we know about Greek, Coptic, and Demotic traditions and languages.
Ipsissimus Webb writes, “Postmodern theories argues that magical language isn’t gibberish, but an appropriate form of discourse with another realm of existence.” (15) I appreciate the fact that he included a detailed analysis of three Hermetic workings in Chapter 2. It breaks down the seemingly confusing spells as models for further assumed understanding of magical formulae. We can be apply this model to other Initiatory practices/traditions.
The PGM may seem especially dangerous to those unfamiliar with it, in light of the fact that we don’t necessarily understand the context of, or the exact precise meaning or pronunciations of words written down in these works. When we say words like “BOLCHOSÊTH” without any knowledge as to what that word means, what is that doing for us? For all we know when we say this word our subjective interaction with it might send an encoded message to ourselves that may cause some unintended consequence in our “world.” Though, this sort of superstitious Mickey Mouse bullshit sounds closer to a Right Hand Path contextual understanding of the PGM.
Herein lies the most interesting aspect to (#2AG). When does historical context become useless in terms of applying it to the use of magical technology?
Even after we begin to recognize simple formulaic words such as BOLCHOSÊTH as “Ba’al strikes Set” are we even pronouncing it correctly (BOLE-CHO-SEET)? For all we know this could be the wrong pronunciation of the word. We don’t know for sure! We’re two thousand years away from understanding the actual implied context of the words found in the PGM. For all we know pronouncing BOLCHOSÊTH as “BOLE-CHO-SEET” with a hard “T” sound at the end instead of a soft “TH” sound could make the word mean something entirely different.
For a more up to date example let’s look at the Japanese words for cute and scary:
Scary is kowai (怖い,こわい) . ko – why
Cute is kawaii (可愛い,かわいい) ka – wa – ii
Notice senpai–that these words sound awfully similar to the Western ear. However, they mean the exact opposite thing in relationship to one another. One lazy delayed pronunciation of 可愛い (kawaii) might make your Japanese friends think your waifu is a scary bitch! Case in point, you used a word with the wrong pronunciation and it produced a different result than you anticipated.
For another example see “Army of Darkness” and Ash trying to say the words “klaatu barada nikto” correctly:
“WAIT A MINUTE. EVERYTHING’S COOL. I SAID THE WORDS. I DID!”
So why is all of this vital to our usage of ancient magical technology?
Well—the fact of the matter is, context isn’t all that important. Unless of course you’re using the PGMs or magical technology like it under the veil of superstition. Only then does context become everything. This why magical technology, in general, can be dangerous to use. If your subjective sense of self perceives a misalignment of context to be dangerous in the usage of magical technology then it will pose an actual danger to your subjective self.
Seeing beyond this, my biggest takeaway from (#3AG) with regards to magic is that magic comes from you. It doesn’t come from saying ABLANATHANALBA sixteen times or from the trappings of the ritual chamber. Magic comes from you, and the only thing that is vitally important to its use is intent. Everything else is auxiliary to the usage of the PGM or other forms of magical technology. Understanding how to formulate more and more accurate forms of intent in the magical chamber is much like habit forming (think neuroplasticity)–it takes practice. Webb writes “The magician will (after practice) free him-or herself from the text, and as each successful immortalization of the soul occurs, the magician begins to act on a more and more divine level. For the advanced magician every act becomes a magical one. He or she is said to have become magic (heka) itself.” (39)
Acting on a “more and more divine level” screams to me as being able to form clearer and more clearer routes of concise and exact modes of intent in the magical chamber. We practice this “freeing” from the text as Ipsissimus Webb writes in order to get magic to do what we want it to do, which may not be what the authors’ of the original texts had intended for a working . “Each successful immortalization of the soul” or intent is accomplished by practicing this over and over again. Only when we truly “say what we mean and mean what we say” with regards to our intent in the usage of magical technology can we “become heka” itself.
I created a graph called “The Intent Funnel” to illustrate the various levels of effectiveness in terms of formulating an accurate intent for workings. You can chart intent on this graph based its specificity. The more specific the intent the better—obviously. The more vague, the easier it is to read anything as a possible result from your workings. I tend to think this is bad, especially in operative workings where you’re trying to accomplish a specific thing. A vague example of intent in an operative working would be “I want to be rich!” You didn’t say by what means you wanted to be rich, and you didn’t give yourself a time frame. You also didn’t even say what you wanted to be rich in. For all you know you could become rich in sorrow! Which is why this sounds like a vague mode of intent to me. That would be charted right at the very top of the graph.
On the other hand, an example of a more specific mode of intent would sound something like this: “I want to go to Harvard to study astrophysics with Dr. Von Loki and graduate in 2019.” This would be charted closer to the bottom of the graph as it is much more specific than the first example.
To conclude, Intent is not wishing for something to happen. Intent is like a GPS, and magical technology is like the car. The destination is the result of a working. You may want to go down the road that might result in making you part of the nouveau-riche elite, but unless you program your GPS with precision, you might be taking the long way to get there.
Life is best when it’s ever-changing. Mutation smells wonderful. It makes me misty all over with the eyes of transformation. Charlotte lips. Bring out the self I never knew. She, the living energy that gives me a sense of “selfness” lies slightly below the heart. A cloud of darkness–she dictates my everything.
He is Leviathan. He is Set. She is Lilith. Babalon.
This week had regularity. It had the irregularity of chartreuse. Smiles. Emotions. Admiration and courage.
I can never bear children. Nor would I want to. I value my free time far too much. The last three weeks have awakened feelings inside of me I have never knew. It’s hard to resist smiling when a little one regards you with absolute joy. I’m learning to remember what it was like to see the appeal in otherworldly beauty. Am I exotic? Your children follow me with their eyes so you don’t have to.
Before, I was angry, and the questions never ceased. Did I ever belong? Darkness. Without abandon I ran into it. Cover every mirror. A thirty year nightmare. Awaken. Dirt drowns, lost within itself to funeral libations.
I remember when I was little. Beauty, so easily defined.
“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.
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.”