The Rat Trap Working–A Journey through the Underworld

When I look back at my 32 years on this planet, I like to separate my time here into three different lives. My childhood–from the time I was a baby until the end of high school.  My young adulthood–the time in which I spent trying to figure out who I was. And lastly, the life I’m currently living. My current incarnation arose late last year after realizing that I was not only capable of becoming Adept, but that I actually had developed into one.

A couple weeks ago, I had a huge “a-ha moment” with regards to how I interact with people. Communicating has never been my strong suit. And as I’ve gotten older, I’ve found that it’s become even more difficult to speak with others on a one to one level. The majority of this problem is grounded in the fact that amidst the confusion of my past lives, I chose to look inward and journey through the depths of the Underworld.

As of February 2017, I am surrounded on all sides by Tucson’s wall-to-wall corporate sprawls filled to the brim with white upper middle class suburbanites just looking to raise their families, punch the clock, and consume. Here, everything has novelty. Shitty black garbage bags with yellow ties. Shattered cavities of plastic and torn shiny paper. Smog and tumble weeds of blue solo cups and rusted nails. The sad loneliness of Panda Express in front of the television with the family on a Sunday evening.

“God’s not dead.” they say.

“God’s not dead!”

“Do you hear us?”

“God’s not dead!”

Yeah–okay. Whatever you say.

I’m living in the middle of an airborne toxic event. Suburban Tucson is a bad parody of a Don Delillo novel on expired LSD laced with bath salts. People here are just looking to live out their lives refusing to ask the tough questions that might change each and every one of them irrevocably.

“God’s not dead!” they scream, running away from the rabid black-toothed rats gnawing away at their insides.

“God’s not dead! HE’S NOT DEAD.”

It takes a lot of energy to ignore the ferocious biting of rats. They will rapidly tear away at everything you are or ever will be should you do nothing to stop their treacherous advance. Some of postmodernity’s favorite remedies for ignoring this pain come in many shapes and sizes, all beautifully packaged for your consumption. Amphetamines and antidepressants. Wild Turkey and Ambien. Subway punchcards and Starbucks. Bad movies and aspartame. Painkillers and suicide.

polyp_cartoon_still_not_happyDon’t get me wrong–if that’s the life you choose then so be it. Who am I to judge? My situation is unique to me. Just don’t expect me to refer to that type of life as an “enthralling state of existence”.

I vividly recall what rats gnawing away at me felt like. It was incessant and raw. As a young adult, I remember the rats of my childhood eating away at my insides. They reminded me that deep down I hurt. That I had no idea who I was. I needed to get away from them in order to heal the open sores they had caused. 

When I was little, my life was rigid, structured, and controlled. At times, I remember becoming paralyzed by anxiety in an effort to save face in the presence of my father. As I moved on into my next life as a young adult, I began to explore the possibilities of my new found freedom. Because I grew up in an environment of suppression, I found it incredibly easy to obsess over the things I could never do. My lifetime as a young adult was very short. It was a positive experience, but ultimately, met its end in a tragic death of my choosing.  

Classic Kung Fu revenge films and Westerns all share the same basic story structure. The main character begins living a decent or happy life. They then suffer through an intense tragedy. Usually this takes place in the form of their entire family being murdered. This sets into motion the protagonist’s need for a journey through wilderness and/or period of intense training away from society. They then return to society in an effort to just “get along.” Of course this never works out. There’s always a few bloody fight scenes along the way. In the climax, the main character almost always achieves deadly revenge against the person or force who caused their initial tragedy. Lastly, the credits start to roll, and we find the main character either walking off into the sunset alone or pulling a “remember the Alamo.”

I identify with movies like “Fist of Fury” and “The Grandmaster” because I have lived out the Kung Fu revenge trope before. Because I have lived through it, I understand that language.

My journey towards this understanding began when I was seventeen. I recorded an energetic demo tape with my brother and formed my first band. When I was eighteen, we were struck with young dumb luck and signed a record contract in the pre-MySpace era. At nineteen, I toured coast-to-coast across the United States. This may sound awesome, but life back then was far from perfect. The rats of my gender identity issues still gnawed away at me underneath it all, but I was able to ignore them because I was happy. At least I thought I was. After all, I was doing what I had always dreamed of–I was a professional musician. And that’s all I ever needed!

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It wasn’t though. In 2006 my band died from my inability to ignore the rats in my closet any longer. I had a life as a musician, but what use was it if I couldn’t live out that life as myself?

In the wake of losing what promised to be a flourishing career I decided to put an end to my life as a musician and instead tour the abyss in search of myself. It was time to figure out who I was and what I wanted out of life. And the only way to figure any of that out was to approach the tough questions only I could ask: “am I capable of walking away from it all?” and, “Could I build up a new life for myself starting from less than zero?”

Realizing Capability

The first step in the long journey towards yourself begins with the realization that you are capable of crossing that lake of fire. That you are capable of doing the things you set out to do. That you can reach the very bottom of Hell at the expense of everything else in your current life. Only you can decide if you can handle the unexpected calamities that will come with taking those first few steps into the Underworld. To become yourself, you must test your capabilities. And you must develop them through the trial of journey. Keep in mind that your destination certainly matters, but all of your meaningful life changing transformations come from the journey itself. This is why it’s incredibly difficult to express what Xeper is into words. Xeper is powerful because it is shrouded behind the walls of confusion and ambiguity. And to have any sort of relationship with Xeper, you must be willing to recognize the superficial nature of what it means to be you and work your way violently inward.

The most difficult aspect to journeying the Underworld has to do with the people you meet along the way. You will meet many. But most don’t even make it past the gates. That’s because they lack the realization of capability. Many people take two steps in and turn tail–they fear for what they might find underneath it all. Some brave souls will journey with you for a time. A few of these will try to distract you from getting to where you’re headed. Fewer still will even face some of the trials you may encounter along the way by your side. Eventually though, if you’re truly determined, you will leave every one of these people behind. Not because you’re better than them, but because they are physically and spiritually incapable of journeying farther. There’s a sad rule to traveling the Underworld–the deeper you go, the less company you’ll be able to keep. As you slowly make your way to the bottom, you even begin to speak an entirely different language than all of the people on the levels above you.

I spent nine years (2006-2015) traveling the Underworld of myself. A lot of times I felt as though I was in limbo, that I wasn’t making progress. But I learned to heed the signs along the way that indicated that I was indeed capable. My journey there was punctuated with a great deal of objective personal change. I transitioned. I went to University. I decided it wasn’t for me. I hit rock bottom. I found joy in performing. I got into car crashes. I ate a lot of ramen noodles. I got my first cavity. I discovered that I was still a musician. I had life changing surgery. I moved across the country. I joined the Temple of Set.

My time as a first degree in the Temple of Set wasn’t riddled with frustration. Instead, it felt like going home for the first time in my life. It helped me to emerge from the Underworld and confront profane life in the everyday. My first degree taught me that I could arrive to new solutions to old problems, and how to apprehend new problems before they grew out of my control.

Becoming Adept doesn’t come from merely accepting yourself for who you are. That’s part of it, but it goes much further. The Adept understands that she is always capable transforming herself into someone she can truly love. For me, I couldn’t have come to this realization without traveling the Underworld for nine years. And I wouldn’t have been able to Xeper as a result of this realization without learning how to make use of the languages I learned while traveling the abyss. I accomplished this by embracing consistency in my initiatory practices which allowed me to keep the rats away and the channels of my endeavors open and awake. Both journey and consistency are integral to the development of the would-be Adept.

The Rat-Trap Working (aka Journeying the Abyss)

By Adept Nikoletta Winters

The following is a long form GBM working that has many parts to it. It’s very important to make preparations beforehand in order to execute each part efficiently. The purpose of this working is to reaffirm your genuine wants requiring you to plan for their success in the long term.

We often start and stop many things. Starting an endeavor usually begins with intense enthusiasm, but without pursuing consistency, you will be incapable of taking it further. In order to see beyond the initial realm of impulse, you must be willing to complete the motion of journeying with your endeavors as a way to express authenticity of want. It’s easy to ask yourself what you desire. It’s hard to answer why you aren’t doing the things you want to do. You want to learn Russian right? Then why the fuck aren’t you doing it? Don’t say “I don’t know,” or attribute it to laziness, lack of time, or other adult responsibilities. Excuses like these, are rats. And you actively use them to ignore your potential. You create them on the surface level and eventually they attach themselves to your daemonic self. They hold you back from chasing after the things you want. This working is engineered to exact revenge on these rats, effectively “trapping them.” If this working is performed correctly, you will have begun the process of equipping yourself with a shiny pair of capable new eyes. If you feel yourself slipping away from the things you want due to the rats of depression, apathy, or exhaustion–plan a weekend around performing this. Over the course of this working, you will actively engage with immediate manifestations of your will. You will also set into motion energies in that will aid in rooting one or perhaps several wants/desires as a powerful source of Xeper in your life. This working will require you to communicate not only with yourself, but with people around you. It is separated into six phases modeled after the Kung Fu Revenge Western trope:

  1. Peace
  2. Tragedy
  3. Journeying the Abyss
  4. Reintegration
  5. Combat
  6. Isolation

During the course of each stage pay close attention to your surroundings, how you feel, who engages with you. The only catch is that you must complete the main working in a twenty-four hour period.

BEFORE you perform the main working, you must write your own Invocation of Set. You can model it after the Invocation in the Crystal Tablet if you lack a sense of creativity, but I would ask that you at least give it the good ‘ole college try to put your own personal touch to it. The ultimate purpose of this exercise is to make an invocation that is uniquely your own. You are taking this invocation on a journey and delivering it to yourself via consistent nightly recitations of it between two days of personal power. Hint: if you do it right before bed, you’ll experience vivid and sometimes horrific dreams. Don’t be scared–that’s just your magic letting you know that your doing the work.

For me, I situated nightly recitations of my invocation over a fifteen day period from February 10th to the 25th. Both are days of significant power for me. The tenth marks the anniversary of significant progression in my gender transition, and the twenty-fifth is my birthday.

The main working occurs on your second day of power. Begin the main working in the morning or early afternoon. Dress appropriately–you’re going to be headed out for the day after performing the “Peace” phase. You won’t return until you reach the “Isolation” phase.

At the end of each phase, recite the following encouraging words in reference to experiencing the stress of Hell, the Duat, or the Underworld: “My dear, my dear, it’s not so dreadful here.”

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I pulled this phrase from Edna St. Vincent Millay’s “Prayer to Persephone.” Persephone is the queen of the Underworld and also the goddess of growth in the spring. This is vital to the working as a king or queen of the Underworld will have certainly journeyed to its depths and gained forbidden knowledge of its hidden languages. Persephone’s second aspect, of growth in spring, is equally as vital to this working. It connects the idea of the new and intense enthusiasm we experience when we first pursue the things we want to do (spring) and being able to nurture them to maturity through consistent journey (growth).

1. Open the Gate – Ring Bell x9, recite your invocation of Set, call upon the elements, drink from the graal, etc.

Recite the following:

“There are days where the sun will hide, where peace has withered, where tragic death leaves a gaping hole. There are days where you will journey to the fiery pits, and to the ends of the Earth. There will be days where you will make a return in the spring, and leave again against frozen northern winds. There will be nights where you will seek revenge, and mornings where you’ve tasted it. There are days where the sun will hide, where peace has withered, where tragic death leaves a gaping hole.”

“My dear, my dear, it’s not so dreadful here.”

2. “Peace” – Engage with something that makes you feel peaceful and relaxed. Perform it until you feel at ease. Ten minutes is the ideal amount of time for this phase. For me, I chose my favorite guided meditation and did it.

“My dear, my dear, it’s not so dreadful here.”

3. “Tragedy” – Get out of the house. If you can, visit a place of significant tragedy in your life. Discuss tragedy with a perfect stranger. Talk with a loved one about the saddest day of their life. Any one of these things will work. Get to know what tragedy is in your own world.

For me, it’s when something goes away before it’s time.

“My dear, my dear, it’s not so dreadful here.”

4. “Journeying the Abyss” – Choose a place to go that makes you uncomfortable or uneasy. I’m not asking you to pull a John McClane and walk into a room full of terrorists, but I am asking you to visit a place that gives you a sense a danger that you cannot easily leave.

I chose to visit the Underworld by going to Bisbee’s “Copper Queen Mine.” In the case of an interesting synchronicity during the course of my working, I was randomly asked by our seventy year old guide to have a seat on the “sanitary cart” in the mine. The sanitary cart was a toilet for the miners of the Copper Queen mine and was known as the “shitter” or “throne.” For the rest of the tour, our guide kept referring to me as the Queen of the mine and asked me to pay him a visit in the future. He told me “I could come back and be Queen anytime.” This was mind-blowing to me! I literally became Queen of the Underworld while the gate was open on my working. Synchronicity? Yep. Laugh out loud funny? Hell yes, but you kinda had to be there.

“My dear, my dear, it’s not so dreadful here.”

5. “Reintegration” – The key to this phase is communication. Talk to people around you. Visibly display your Pentagram of Set if you feel adventurous. If someone is wearing or saying something that strongly connects with any of your sensibilities, make a comment or start a conversation with that person.

My big reintegration moment came when I came across a guy in Bisbee dressed head to toe like a steampunk. It was a pretty radmobile getup so I told him that I “liked his outfit.” He commented on my Pentagram of Set and showed me a red ring he was wearing that also had a pentagram on it. This was a cool little moment. I ended up running into him again across town. (I think he followed me). He gave me a business card this time. Turns out he was a local entertainer who performed nightly seances on the weekends. 

“My dear, my dear, it’s not so dreadful here.”

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6. “Combat” – Do something that requires you to learn a new language. Spend the afternoon learning a new skill, a new game, or dance routine. It doesn’t need to be complicated, but you do need to understand how to engage with your chosen language by the end of this phase.

I chose to learn how to play a complicated board game called “Eldritch Horror.” After I learned, I played a game of it with my significant other. We got our asses royally kicked by the Azathoth.

“My dear, my dear, it’s not so dreadful here.”

7. “Isolation” – For this phase return to your ritual chamber and perform a task that isolates yourself in such a way that you can completely focus on yourself inwardly. I chose a ten minute scanning body meditation.

At the end of the final phase, make a list of three endeavors you wish to pursue over the next month. You must consistently engage with these on a regular schedule throughout that time. Keep a daily record of this in your magical diary. At the end of the month, write about what you learned and how you feel about your time pursuing these endeavors.

In the spirit of consistency before you close out the working, recite your invocation of Set one final time.

Ring the bell nine times.

“SO IT IS DONE.”

ia_ia_azathoth

 

 

 

 

 

The Rat Trap Working–A Journey through the Underworld

Attachment and Initiation—The Obsessive Struggle

The first thing I want to talk about is my current understanding of Xeper. The tried and true “Coming into Being,” and “Mindful Evolution” are great and wonderful, but it’s important for me to define Xeper in order to understand how I’ve applied it to my own initiation. This is tough, because in order define what Xeper is, I have to experience it first.

Initiation is hard. There are no supervisors to make sure that I’m doing right. I have to know what I’m doing while I’m doing it. I have to be honest with myself. I have to be heroic. I have to volunteer myself, to myself, for myself. Initiation is not about how big my ego is, it’s about the work I’m doing to make me into the “best me,” the best version of myself, and remembering that there will always be another “best me” to strive for, when I never get there.

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Initiation as the Ouroboros

How I define Xeper

Xeper – the adaptation of subtle self-awareness.

It’s the re-discovery of a thing you should know and then applying that recognition to a method of understanding to stimulate growth within the self.

I’m going to tell a story about something that happened to me rather recently. It’s about the obsessive struggle.

What is obsessive struggle?

Xeper. Cell division. Once. Twice. Three times. Where does it stop?

Experience. From here there is no return.

By my very nature I am an angry person. I usually wake up every morning around 3:45am and I’m on the road by 4:30am. I like routine. But when any little thing gets in the way of that routine, I flip out. If I can’t find my keys—I yell. If someone cuts me off on the way to work, I “what the fuck” all the way there. If someone knocks on my office door when I’m on a phone call—I lose my shit. I’ll always put on a nice face when I answer, but you can be sure that I’m annoyed at the prospect of having to get up from my desk for a stupid question and a stupid person.

I tend to keep to myself. My nose often buried in a book during my lunch breaks. I hardly speak. I’m even less inclined to say anything when I hear tall white men discuss their sometimes erotic sounding love for their lord and savior Jesus Christ. It’s a little bananas in Arizona. It really makes me miss New England—not the winters of course. I miss being within reach of more—how can you say, down to earth people? Lesbians looking off bridges. Theatre auditions. Chocolate peppermint brownies for lunch. When I moved to Arizona, I was all in, and now, I’m not so sure. I won’t be staying here for good. I have “big plans.” An endgame so to say. My day job? Merely a tool to get me to that point. I don’t have to work, but I like having my own money. Autonomy. A day job can do that. Going through the motions. Working in that small office is the least important thing in my life, by far. Although, I often find my time there to be somewhat magical. So, I keep to myself and observe the comings and goings of my workplace.

I had a co-worker in late December spread some pretty nasty rumors about me. I was kind of surprised. And even though I have anger issues—I’m well-mannered. I always have been. When I was made aware of this person talking shit to everyone in the building I felt like an attack had been carried out on my never ending obsessive struggle. I felt like everyone else knew something about me that I did not. This was a problem. It was a problem, because reminded me that my past was as real as the surgical scars I now wore. It reminded me of who I was. Who I really was. And that made me angry.

I spent the last ten years of my life in the obsessive struggle of making myself into something I physically couldn’t accommodate. Doctors. Psychologists. Magistrates telling me “no” I couldn’t change my name. Government offices. Airports. Universities. Professors. Surgeons.

Last February, I underwent twelve hours of surgery on my face to feminize it. I was born a male, but I underwent six different procedures to essentially reassign myself a face different than the one I was born with. The surgery included a forehead reconstruction, rhinoplasty, chinplasty, a trachea shave, mandibular reduction, and a lip lift. As my skull was quite masculine to begin with, I felt every procedure to be a necessary one. It hurt. A lot. And despite throwing up buckets of blood when I woke up, the surgery was a success. The changes brought about by this immensely invasive trip to the doctor’s office made my life much easier to deal with. I can’t begin to tell you, what a delight it’s been to feel a little more comfortable in my own skin.

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A co-worker came into my office one day late in December and told me some disappointing information.

“Do you know Hooker Bitch?”
“Can’t say that I do.” I said.
“You know that chick who has the grandma hair?”
“Oh yeah…” I laughed.
“She’s been telling people that you were born a man.”

I was so pissed off that I couldn’t see straight. My focus narrowed. After work I went to the Fourth Avenue street fair with my fiancé. Smiling faces. Pinball machines. People asking me to sign petitions to legalize everything. I should’ve been having a good time. But, the only thing on my mind was getting revenge against this person for blowing my cover. I needed to weigh in on the alternatives.

Let’s take a step back.

I had been through too much to let this hooker-bitch bother me. And yet I did.

I felt compromised. The obsessive struggle somehow invalidated.

I considered several alternatives in dealing with the situation.

1. I could openly confront her about it.
2. Go to HR. Yeah right—they never help with anything.
3. Find a new job.
4. Do a destruction working against her.

“I’m a black magician,” I thought. “Let’s toss some lightning bolts around.” And so I did a pretty nasty destruction working. Three weeks later, this girl was on leave of absence for some kind of illness she had developed out of thin air.

Mission accomplished…

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Hooker-Bitch started a witch hunt against an actual witch. And that pissed me off. She embodied everything I hated about the Christian rednecks here in Arizona, and I wanted to see her suffer for talking shit.

Let’s get real here for a minute. Destruction workings are too easy. Why? I mean, would I be willing to pull the trigger on someone instead of doing a destruction working if I could get away with it? The answer? Always no. That would mean destroying myself. I would be put away for life–or worse. Totally. Not. Worth it.

Hooker-Bitch wasn’t worth the expenditure of energy. Knowing this–the real question is: why did I commit to doing a destruction working against this person if I wouldn’t even be capable of picking up a gun, let alone pulling the trigger?

Why did I do it?

The answer is simple, but not so simple. I wanted to feel powerful. Although, there was another aspect to this that I was overlooking.

Was I understanding myself? What was the driving force behind my lust to feel powerful?

If I wasn’t going to ask the tough questions then nobody would.

I wasn’t confronting something. Something important. My problems weren’t with Ms. Hooker-Bitch. That was obvious. As far as I knew I outed myself. My name is plastered all over Google in LBGT related topics and interviews from when I lived in New England. I mean really–how far could I run away from the facts?

At this point in the game, I still wasn’t understanding the problem.

desert2

In Tucson, we are surrounded by the Sonoran Desert. When I need to mentally digest something, my fiancé and I hop into the car, find a trail-head, park, and we start walking. I like the desert for the silence. I can hear myself think when I’m there.

During one of my many walks following this incident, I felt bothered and confused by the results of my destruction working. Not because of what happened to my target—but because I couldn’t justify wasting my energy like that no matter how many ways I tried to look for a good reason.

A quote from MindStar:

“As Plato illustrated in the Meno, the underlying basis of all knowledge – the primal building-blocks upon which learning and reasoning depend on their accuracy and coherence – are inherent to each incarnate intelligence: anamnesis – “recollective awareness of the neteru/Forms.” In non-metaphysical terms, humans know “instinctively” whether they are thinking reasonably and without validity.”  (Aquino 72)

You see, I did the destruction working when my feelings were on auto-pilot. And by auto-pilot, I mean, even though my anger was directed at this person during the course of my working, I did the working without awareness. All I cared about was doing something that would make me feel strong and powerful.

I did the working on impulse. With emotion. It takes a titanic effort to see things from the outsides of ourselves. It takes patience and self-love. It takes compassion. And a lot writing in our journals. At the moment in which I was at my lowest, I chose to act. And I chose poorly—I compromised my ethics. My values. I forgot to pay myself before I paid everyone else. I instinctively knew that I wasn’t thinking reasonably or with validity. I just chose not to see it.

Addicted to Water

I had to dig deeper. I had to continue to ask why. The ancient Egyptian spell for crossing the desert. I always think about this when I visit the trail-heads outside of Tucson.

Ipsissimus Webb writes:

“The spell [for crossing the desert] is not intended for illustrative purposes, although it does illustrate the myth of Creation. It was an operative spell for survival across the expanse of the desert. This is an interesting moment. You are leaving behind the Known and are entering the Unknown. The Known is the divine land of Khem, before you the Unknown desert with its mirages, bandits, scorpions, sandstorms, etc. Beyond that are the foreign lands ruled by Set. What do you say as a charm? Not a prayer to Set, whose lands you were entering. Not a prayer to the familiar gods of Egypt. No, a statement of one’s Coming Into Being as the Creator. Now why would this be protective? Or more to the point, what was being protected?

The answer is that it is not protective of the body. It’s not a prayer for rain, nor a cantrip for food, nor a conjuration against desert brigands. It is for the soul. The smart traveler has already taken care of the body’s needs in the proper realm. They’ve stored food and water; they’ve sharpened their swords. But now they pause — at the edge of the Unknown — to strengthen their mind/soul. They are going into a realm where they may lose their purpose– even die in a distracted manner. What better time than using the urgency of an upcoming struggle to Work for the immortalization of the mind/soul?”

The obsessive struggle. A foreigner in an unknown land? Me? I was from New England. Arizona made me uneasy. Call it peaceful hostility. The years I spent becoming the person I am today. Preparing myself for the unknown desert. My sword—sharpened. I was angry at Hooker-Bitch because I forgot the first reason I started this unending journey through the desert of myself in the first place. I was putting too much, far too much, emotional currency on my physical self as opposed to remembering who I was at the core.

Anamnesis. First forms. Neteru.

As I walked through the desert with my fiance, he said a word that reminded me of something Immortan Joe said from Mad Max: Fury Road:

“Do not, my friends, become addicted to water. It will take hold of you and you will resent its absence.”

The one word he said to me was: “Attachment.”

I was addicted to water. What do I mean by this? The destruction working was a waste of resources. I became fixated on the things that caused me to be angry because I didn’t fully understand how to apply the situation to a method of understanding. Let’s get real—at the time, I didn’t want to. My problem was that I was constantly looking for validation of what I was physically instead of just knowing it for myself. I was attached to my body. I was attached to time. To my youth. To my past. All of these ever slipping through my hands like sand in an hourglass. I set myself up to be hurt. And I was put into a corner. I reacted on impulse without rationalization. I forgot my ethics. And more importantly I forgot myself. I was angry because I began to resent water’s absence. Ten years of work, come and gone. I had to let go. I had to stop being addicted to the past that made me who I was, and start living in the present in order to continue pulling myself forward towards the unknown matrix of the future. Change—is scary.

Attachment is the root. It is entropy. Attachment is fear. I should’ve known this. I had just forgotten.

My reactionary, impulsive, use of a destruction ritual was a Remanifestion of a negative pattern. It’s likely that I’ll do it again. But it’s also less likely that I won’t. Why? I have this experience to draw from. To actively change the course of the future. It’s here where I will stimulate growth within myself with the subtle self awareness to KNOW how I naturally want to react in situations like this. My capriciousness isn’t a newly discovered weakness. I had just forgot about it. Through this ordeal, I have come to recognize that it is there, and that it is mine.

Conclusion

The obsessive struggle. Why does it have to be obsessive? That only means that I am attached. And attachment? Attachment means standing still. That I want to stand still. Do I really?

Goethe wrote that:

“Until you discover and accept yourself fully, you won’t have the conviction or the courage to be free. As soon as you trust yourself, you will know how to live.”

How do you learn to know yourself? You remember who you are. You remember what you need. You keep asking why, even when you don’t want to. To become, you must overcome.

Some logic.

If standing still means being destroyed when things change, when routine is broken, when water becomes scarce then I want nothing to do with it. It’s perfectly okay to be angry. Everyone gets angry. What is not okay is to become attached to things that cause that anger. Attachment is misery. It’s so very easy to destroy. It’s easy to stay addicted to water as we cross the deserts of ourselves, even if we know that that water is poisoned. What’s difficult is to build. To be the creator. To not mind matter, but to mind the self. That’s how you cross the desert and learn to finally live.

Attachment and Initiation—The Obsessive Struggle

It’s Better to Have 25% of a Good Thing than 100% of Nothing: A Trans Woman’s Thoughts on Anton LaVey’s “The Compleat Witch”

My Criticisms of “The Compleat Witch”

devillissy
What to do when virtue fails? Slap on some devil horns and scowl at your iPhone in front of a creepy painting.

I have a few problems with Magus Anton LaVey’s “The Compleat Witch” (#13D)—the most glaring these is his reliance on anecdotal evidence to support his claims of how women can make use of the “Law of the Forbidden” in order to charm both men and women alike. He makes outrageous declarative statements such as “the most effective turn ons will never look staged.” How does this actually work though? And more importantly how does he know this type of statement can be understood to be a fact?
Magus LaVey is relying on two things here to support his claims—(1) the fact that women reading this book are primed to agree with what he’s saying not only because of who he is but because they are looking to make themselves “Compleat Witches” and (2) his claims are supported by compelling the reader to put them into practice.
A blue-haired feminist reading of this boo220px-TheCompleatWitchk would probably dismiss it as being absolutely outrageous. How could he possibly know anything about what it means to be a woman? He never lived as a woman! Magus LaVey is a white cis-gendered male born into a life that invalidates every claim he makes in “The Compleat Witch.” However—from my point of view, I would find the feminist reading of this book to be ill-informed. LaVey is an outsider from the experience of what it means to be a woman. Therefore, he can make observations women can’t make for themselves. In other words, he can see our blind spots.

Aside from his somewhat perverted assertions about how a woman should go about putting the Law of the Forbidden into practice (strategic panty slips) there’s something endearing about how Magus LaVey views what can make a woman charming.

What LaVey never addresses directly in the book is where exactly he lies on the LaVeyan Personality Synthesizer (LPS) clock. The way he writes leads me to believe that he regards himself as an eleven o’clock or twelve o’ clock on LPS. He makes over abundant references to women that have qualities of a five or six o’ clock.

So why is this important?

He believes that it adds to his credibility in a subliminal way by conveying himself to be the all-seeing, all knowing alpha male. People who are naturally leaders fall in between the eleven to one range on the clock. The problem with this is very similar to the feminist argument—how can he know so much about the rest of the positions on the clock when he’s a twelve o’ clock male?

While it would be unfair of me to say that “The Compleat Witch” was written with five to seven o’ clock women in mind, I do get the feeling that his Demonic Minority Self is catering to women in that range on the LPS.

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The LaVeyan Personality Synthesizer

The LaVeyan Personality Synthesizer as Applied to Gender Transition

Magus LaVey’s work in “The Compleat Witch” is very female positive in a back-handed sort of way—he does constantly acknowledge that not all women are bombshells, but he does make an effort to point out ways to improve. This includes all types of women. The LaVeyan Personality Synthesizer was included in this book to not only address diversity issues that may arise from his sometimes biased suggestions but also as check and balance to his own claims on what works and what doesn’t work in the application of “The Law of the Forbidden.”

To me, the most interesting aspect of “The Compleat Witch” were a few very brief mentions of where transgender individuals fall on the LPS. Considering when this book was written, I find it interesting (and progressive!) that LaVey included this detail.

He writes, “the woman most prone to stereotyped lesbian activities is the twelve o’clock. The man most likely to fit the established image of the homosexual is the six o’clock. All types, however, have their respective homosexual counterparts. This simply implies that a twelve woman and a six man are ideally suited for sexual interchange and often are transsexuals. When a sex change operation is performed, it is most complete and successful in these individuals.” I wish that LaVey explored this more fully, but based on his writings in (#13D) I have come to an understanding as to how transsexuality interacts with his system. I’ve come to this understanding because of my own personal life experiences as both a transgender woman and also as compleat witch.

As a male I wasn’t exactly the paragon of all things alpha—on the LPS I was on the lower spectrum of the clock, probably a solid five o’clock or five-thirty. I had always been the more subdued outsider struggling to be the alpha I wasn’t. During that time in my life my Demonic Minority Self was a strong female figure—which is something I wrestled with prior to the start of my transition at nineteen in 2005. What I find interesting about how the LaVeyean Personality Synthesizer applies to my transition is how my Demonic Minority Self as a male surfaced to the top and became my Majority Self as a woman.

To me, this makes sense because as we transition to our new gender identity we still stay the same in many respects. If I now embody the identity of an eleven o’clock female, my former male self (a 5 o’clock) becomes my new Demonic Minority.

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By the nature of what it takes to transition, transgender women are primed and ready to become compleat witches out of the box. A very curious excerpt from the “Sex Magic without Sanctimony” section of Magus LaVey’s book further supports this idea:

“The emphasis on the power of strong contrast is supplied by the fact that you are ‘dressed up’ in all the readily visible areas of your body while totally naked under your coat. The same element is present in the incongruity of mingling with people who are clothed while you are naked in an unstated environment. If this does not present a feeling of self-consciousness, you’ll never make it as a witch, for you lack the emotional response of the individuals on who you would be working your magic. If you are so alien to other’s emotional responses, I would recommend you give up on trying to be a witch or else take a few lessons from a Martian or Venusian who has learned to ‘pass.’ The Law of the Forbidden is subjectively practice in your constant awareness of your outrageous behavior.”

Transgender women, especially at the beginning of our transitions are easily recognizable by those around us as being both different and unnatural. Most people aren’t stupid. Mode of dress, the voice, facial structure, and height are huge giveaways for the would-be male bodied individual making the attempt to “pass.” Trans-women are self-conscious by our very nature—and this adds to our power. The aspect to this that I find most interesting—is that by going out into the world to operate as our Demonic Minority Self as opposed to what we are naturally, we employ Magus LaVey’s Law of the Forbidden not only against other people but also against ourselves. The power that we draw from our self-conscious behaviors is therefore doubled because of this phenomenon.

If was born into this world as a five o’clock male then my Demonic Minority Self would be that of an eleven o’clock female. As a five o’clock male I was attracted to the idea of becoming my Demonic Minority Self because of how attractive she was to my sensibilities. She was everything I wasn’t. Assertive, pretty, outgoing, and extroverted. Because I was attracted to the eleven o’clock woman, my sense of self-consciousness was amplified when I finally summoned the courage to go out into the world. I was attracted to myself, but also shy of myself—and therefore working the Law of the Forbidden…upon myself. Because I adopted this identity that wasn’t what other people perceived to be my Majority Self as a male that also caused me to become even more self-conscious by projecting the Law of the Forbidden onto those people.

I remember as a young twenty year old trans-woman back in 2006, believing that I was passing as female one hundred percent of the time. I thought that my size and age made me untouchable. I thought I could wear anything without being clocked as trans. How wrong was I? I was making huge fashion mistakes, like wearing pants way too tight, too much makeup, etc. I was aware of this in a subliminal sort of way, but I was made more aware of it when other people pointed out my many fashion oversights.

LaVey writes, “In utilizing the Law of the Forbidden, you can make many of the things you do appear as though you were unaware of them happening. Thus, you will be employing a double threat by your proper and conducive choice of garments and also by your apparent lack of knowledge of your exposure.”

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The difference between what he’s suggesting here, and what I was going through early on in my transition is that I wasn’t acting like I was unaware of my fashion fubars. I actually wasn’t aware at all! So when LaVey says “the most effective turn ons will never looked staged,” the fact that I was going out to bars with pants on so tight that my cock ’n balls were poking out of one of my pant legs while dressed like a woman—this potential turn on wasn’t staged. I wasn’t acting, because I wasn’t aware. So when I was getting unwanted attention by would-be tranny chasers trying to bed me, I was genuinely drawing power from their awareness of my difference from all the other “girls” at the club.

Magus LaVey writes that “The power of the vampire lies in that no one believes him.” At the onset, this rule is one-hundred percent true when it comes to dealing with other people as a trans-woman. In the beginning, no one actually believes—including yourself, that you’re a woman. A lot of our power as trans-women is drawn from this knowledge, and as we become more aware of ourselves we can use this to our benefit should we decide to venture down the path of the compleat witch

It’s Better to Have 25% of a Good Thing than 100% of Nothing: A Trans Woman’s Thoughts on Anton LaVey’s “The Compleat Witch”

Separation (Isolation) Rite, its Results, and a Moment of Xeper

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.

The people who helped to inspire the content of the rite should be credited, those people are as follows: the Beetle Tracks blog (http://setemheb.tumblr.com/), my spiritual grandpa Dr. Michael Aquino, Don Webb and his book “The Seven Faces of Darkness.” and Dr. Stephen Flowers and Hermetic Magic.

Many of the names of the people I mention in this have been changed for their personal protection.

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Separation (Isolation) Rite by Nikoletta

(Frame rite)

Draw a picture of HarWer.

(face South opposite from altar)

“ZAZAS!!!!” (trace Averse Pentagram South towards ERBÊTH)

“I am he with two faces—HarWer!
We are union.”

“I am URAEUS the moon and the sun
“The Left eye” (motion left arm in upwards half circle (moon)) “and the Right” (throw right arm to the right(sun)).

“ZAZAS!!!!” (trace averse Pentagram East towards IÔ)

“I am LILITH
Separate from Adam!
Separate from Eden!
I and Myself!
BABALON!
Knowledge and Evil!”

“NATSATANADA!!!” (trace averse Pentagram West towards ABLANATHANALBA)

(face North/altar)

“I am SET.
Slayer of OSIRIS! Stasis crumbles! (stab upwards)
XEPERA!”

“I am SET.
Slayer of Illusion. APOPHIS withers! (stab downwards)
XEPER!”

“I am SET.
Neter against Neteru.
I am non-union!
I am the presence of self!
I am awareness!
XEPERU!”

(trace averse Pentagram North towards PAKERBÊTH)

“I am NEHEH—the eternal future!
I am darkness!”

“ZAZAS!!!” (Tear Horus and Set picture in half separating Set from Horus)

(crumple the Horus side and throw him from your right hand, to the right of your altar with force)

(Place Set Half unfolded in your Magical Diary. Close It.)

(Frame 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.

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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.

LaplandLongspur-UNA395464The 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.

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Mediterranean, Marbella, Spain February 2015

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.

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Marbella, February 2015

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.”

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Marbella, February 2015

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.”

It was here I realized my rite had worked.

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Separation (Isolation) Rite, its Results, and a Moment of Xeper