Wednesday, July 27, 2016

July 15, 2016: Small Intestine Meridian

July 15, 2016:

Calcination continues!  We have the three H’s today, hazy, hot and humid, perfect weather to advance the process of Calcination.  On days like this, I often feel beaten down, lethargic, unable to focus.  Sometimes the perfect way to overcome ego is to beat it down, infuse it with lethargy, and take away its ability to focus.  Maybe I can make use of this heat.

The other Summer meridian is the one attached to the small intestine.  The small intestine meridian begins at the outside tip of the little finger (right next to the heart meridian), and moves up the arm to the back of the shoulder, where it divides.  The inner section goes down through the heart and the stomach to end at the small intestine, and the outer section travels up the neck, around the cheeks and through the ear, to the inner corner of the eye, where it connects with the bladder meridian.  The small intestine meridian is the yang partner of the heart meridian, and it also corresponds with the element of Fire, to the emotions of sadness and joy (opposites), to expansion and awareness, acceptance, and the wisdom that is present at the height or peak of development; added to the list are discernment and nourishment.  This makes sense when you remember that this meridian affects the whole body because it is connected to the digestion and disbursement of food.  The energies of this meridian separate pure from impure, and this includes both foods and fluids, and thoughts and beliefs.  The small intestine meridian can manifest as pain in the abdomen, sore throat, hearing problems, pain or swelling of the face; anxiety, anger, shock and excitement can all have a negative effect on the operations of this meridian.

A lot of this makes sense when understood through the lens of Calcination.  After all, Calcination is about discernment, and about clearing the way for more effective nourishment.  Calcination affects how we “hear” as well as how we “speak.”  So does the small intestine meridian.

My Wild Unknown Tarot card for today is the Ten of Wands.  This is a dark card, but the darkness is caused by the many Wands, acting like dark brambles, blocking the light that is in the background of the card.  Just the anticipation of attempting to push through those brambles to the light beyond them, or even to cut them away in order to allow the light in, is overwhelming.  Granted, the end result could be beneficial, but from this vantage point, all I can see is an almost impenetrable blockage, the overcoming of which just might take more effort than I have available to me.

It is going to be 91 degrees today with high humidity; so this card makes perfect sense! I’m going to buy myself one of those small, seedless watermelons, and munch on that all day. 


Monday, July 25, 2016

July 14, 2016: Ophion, my Earth Guide

July 14, 2016:

I did a little research about Ophion, my Earth Guide.  He is actually one of the Greek Titans, ruler of Earth and seen often as a serpent.  There is a creation myth surrounding Ophion, with Ophion in the shape of a serpent impregnates his wife Eurynome, who was in the shape of a dove.  Eurynome lays a single egg, around which Ophion coils his serpentine body, protecting the egg until it hatches and the world issues forth.  There is even a wasp called the “Ophion wasp,” so-named because when breeding, the female lays a single egg. 

Ophion has always appeared reptilian to me.  His skin is green and somewhat scaley, his nose is basically nostrils, and he does not have much body hair.  While my other elemental Guides have names associated with the cardinal quarters and their winds, my Earth Guide has presented himself in a different manner.  He was never “Boreas” to me, the name associated with the north wind.  I’m sure there is a reason for this, but it is not yet apparent.

I’m sure Haftorang will give me hints.

I threw another Wild Unknown Tarot card today, got the Mother of Pentacles.  This is such a beautiful card!  It makes me feel safe and warm and very loved. The doe in the image is comfortable with her legs tucked under her, but her eyes are open and her ears are pricked.  She needs to be alert, because her fawn is fast asleep by her side.  He curls up against her, soothed by her warmth and her support as he sleeps peacefully.  She will make certain that he is not disturbed, and when he wakes, she will fill his belly.

This card seems to be speaking directly to my efforts at the request of Haftorang; after all, Pentacles cards correspond with the element of Earth.  Perhaps I am being told by this card that I should remember that I am supported, and take a little break to digest all that I’ve found out so far. 


Saturday, July 23, 2016

July 13, 2016: Yin Yoga, and Summer Meridians

July 13, 2016:

Time to get back into doing my daily Yoga practice.  The past two weekends have been busy, with a house full of company both weekends.  Plus, I’ve been subbing for another Yoga teacher, which is cutting even more into my personal Yoga practice.  I’ve done my practice a few days during the week but now, I’ve got time to get back to a regular practice. 

I love Yin Yoga.  Yin is a slow, meditative practice consisting of very deep stretches (mostly floor poses) that are achieved by keeping the overlying muscles completely passive, thus allowing the tendons, ligaments, and fascia to be stretched, strengthened and lubricated.  This practice is also very good for the joints.  I usually do about an hour of Yin, followed by some sun salutations with variations and warrior flows, as my personal practice. 

I love Yin so much that I did a 30 hour teacher training focused on Yin.  I think it is time that I start bringing the energy meridians into my daily focus, along with my chakra balancing and Reiki application. 

Yin Yoga meridians correspond with several things, one of which is a season.  Since it is Summer, I will talk first about the two meridians corresponding with this season, the heart meridian (a Yin meridian) and the small intestine meridian (a Yang meridian). 

The heart meridian is connected to the heart of the physical body.  The heart is the first functional organ in a fetus (it begins to beat at around 3-4 weeks of development), and it is responsible for the circulation of blood throughout the body and the brain.  The heart helps to monitor and control our body temperature, allowing us to adapt to external environmental conditions.  The heart meridian is connected to the element of Fire, to the emotions of sadness and joy (opposites), to expansion and awareness, acceptance, and the wisdom that is present at the height or peak of development. 

The heart meridian begins in the heart and circles the entire area of the heart.  One internal path of the meridian goes to the eye, and the other part circles through the lungs, reaches out to the small intestine (its Yang partner), and then surfaces along the skin on the inside of the opposite arm, across the inside of the wrist (across the pulse point), along the palm, and ends at the tip of the pinky.  When the heart is balanced, so are our emotions, our thoughts and senses, and our access to spirit.  Our conscience is in place, our breath is even and fulfilling, we are optimistic, and we feel a loving connection to the world and its inhabitants.  Thirst of any kind, whether physical, emotional, mental or spiritual, is an indication of imbalance, as are shortness of breath, inability to speak, uneven pulse, and restless sleep.

My next post will describe the small intestine meridian.  Hopefully writing things out like this will encourage me to remember where the meridians are and what body processes and sensations they affect.

And I did throw a Wild Unknown Tarot card, too, the Six of Cups.  Here are my thoughts regarding this card: This card shows a perfect young evergreen above ground with soft horizontal lines in the background, and the huge support network (larger in mass than the tree itself) of roots belowground colored in green, yellow, blue and red, with the entire image surrounded by evenly-spaced cups, two in either upper corner, two at ground level, and two in either lower corner.  An evergreen never fades or experiences Winter, and our emotions are also eternal.  We aim toward emotional enlightenment as we live our lives.  When we look back at where we’ve come, our memories can be without imperfection.  Who we are right now, the person we are, is supported by everything that has come before this moment, and most of that support (while connected to the visible effects of every element in our world) that has been in existence since before the tree first pushed its evergreen leaves above ground, is not visible to the naked eye; we have to get a shovel and dig in order to see it.  But whether perceived or not, there is a balance created by that support, just as there is a balance created by the memories of who we were and where we are going, and that balance brings harmony and serenity.

With all the focus on roots the Six of Cups brings, it is only fitting that the first of my brugmansia seeds officially sprouted today.  Yay!  Looks like that supporting root system is in place, even if I can’t see it.  Thank you, Haftorang!


Thursday, July 21, 2016

July 12, 2016: Hints of next steps

I received a hint as to how this process initiated by Haftorang will continue, but I could be wrong of course.  I have a feeling that I will be following the chakras rather than any circle casting.  If I’m right, the next direction will be West and the next element will be Water.  But I’m not anyway near moving on yet. 

I threw the Ace of Pentacles reversed today.  Here are my thoughts regarding this card:

The image on this card is of a slice of a tree, with cracks, tree rings, and the heart of the tree visible.  But this tree is not dead; there are new young branches with new leaves sprouting from the bark of this tree.  This image gives us a sense of where we were and where we have come from, as well as a glimpse of a possible future, all within the physical world.  In the Wild Unknown Tarot, the suit of Pentacles is about worldly possessions, our homes, our money and our careers.  Pentacles cards touch on our generosity and on our greed, our health and our well-being.  This Ace tells me that I am surrounded by these concepts; they are right there, like ripe fruits hanging from a tree branch.  All I have to do in order for them to manifest is to claim them.

Perhaps Haftorang is nudging me to increase my abilities, abilities to harvest that fruit and make it mine.


Wednesday, July 20, 2016

July 11, 2016: Synchronicity!

Synchronicity is the word of the week, apparently.  I decided to pull a Wild Unknown Tarot card, and got The Hanging Man reversed.  The cool thing is that the image on this card is a bat.  Here are my thoughts regarding this card:

The image on this Major Arcana card is fitting: a bat hanging upside down, wrapped cozily in his wings, with red, glowing eyes.  This bat appears at first glance to be totally surrendering to his upside-down pose, but actually he is quite alert, looking around and perceiving all.  Perceiving all from a unique perspective, and maybe seeing things that we aren’t seeing from our right-side-up view of the world.  The bat is not forced to assume this hanging position; he actually chooses to see the world this way, and is able to benefit from his choice.  And when he is ready to move on, all he has to do is let go, and he is immediately, effortlessly, able to soar.  Since the card is reversed, it’s not time for me to do this yet, but it sure is nice to know that the opportunity is there.

Here is some information I found about Bat as a totem animal, from several different websites:

A Bat totem is a call for the end of a way of life and the beginning of another.   The keywords associated with this totem are Transition and Rebirth.  Bat is telling me to face my greatest fears, and to release those parts of my life that are no longer needed.  This transition, like all transitions that require big changes in order to manifest, is really scary (“better the devil you know . . .”), but I can’t continue my spiritual growth until I let go of all that useless junk I’ve been carrying around.  Bat is encouraging me to do that. 

Bats are cool; they use “echo location” in order to swoop through the night.  Bat is reminding me that I have the ability to be perceptive – to pick up on subtle messages and to hear what is not being said out loud – and I should make use of those abilities.  I can hear my inner voice (obviously), and I need to see the messages I “hear” as being important and valid.  Bats are able to move through the darkness with swiftness and grace, and when I feel “in the dark” I need to tune into my more subtle senses with greater precision in order to do the same.  Perhaps a new way of looking at the issue at hand will bring new answers.  “Face the darkness before you and you will find the light in rebirth.”

Bat’s wisdom includes shamanic death and rebirth, initiation, viewing past lives, pollination of new ideas, transition, understanding grief, the use of vibrational sound, camouflage, invisibility, ability to observe unseen, and working with secrets or hidden knowledge.  These are valuable tools for me right now.  Bat also reminds me that all kinds of yoga are beneficial, especially any practice that involves energy flow or awakening the kundalini, and this corresponds nicely with what I’ve learned about the metabolic discipline and aerobic activity connected with Calcination.

Bats are often misunderstood and feared, probably because they are creatures of the night and have a strange winged appearance. They are associated with vampires, but despite the Bela Lugosi movies we’ve seen, bats rarely bite unless threatened.  The largest bat species on the planet is 100% vegetarian, eating only fruits and vegetables.  Bats have needle like teeth and can sometimes be rabies carriers. Rabies is an infectious disease of the blood that can cause a person to go mad.  Bat is reminding me that fears that are permitted to spread unchecked will in the end saturate my whole body and all its systems, and could bring a kind of madness into my life our life.  I need to face up to all my fears.

Bats are masters of regeneration.  When the air becomes cold, they immediately go into a hibernation mode. When warmed up again, they are totally unharmed, unique for a warm blooded mammal. Bats are extremely adaptable because their senses, feeding, flight and mating rituals are perfectly matched to their particular environment. The message for me here may be to assess my surroundings to see what bounty is there for me for the taking, and then adapt or change my own patterns so I can attract and receive that bounty.

I found this on one website: “Bat flying into your life signifies that transformation of the ego self is about to occur, the end of a way of life and the start of another. This transition can be very frightening for many, even just to think about. But you will not grow spiritually until you let go these old parts of you that are not needed. Facing the darkness before you will help you find the light in rebirth. The bat gives you the wisdom required to make the appropriate changes for the birthing of your new identity.”  I can feel Haftorang nodding.

“Teach me that death can hurt much less
If I accept it as no end,
But see it true, just another view
Of life continuing round a bend.”


Tuesday, July 19, 2016

July 10, 2016: Black Witch Moth

And so the synchronicity continues.  This morning, I was visited by the black witch moth, otherwise known as the butterfly of death.  This is a very large brown moth often mistaken as a bat, found mostly in the Caribbean, Mexico and the upper South American continent, with some species found in Hawaii. 

Here is some information I found about my visitor:

Facts and Legends of the Black Witch Moth

The Ascalapha Odorata, or black witch moth, is a large bat-shaped, dark-colored nocturnal moth. The moth is quite distinctive, with a wingspan sometimes exceeding 7 inches. It is not actually black, but a variegated dark brown marked with zigzag black lines and faint touches of pink and lavender.  The black witch moth is found throughout Central America and Mexico, with its distribution extending from Brazil to the southern United States. It is the largest noctuid found in the continental United States.

In Spanish it is known as "Mariposa de la Muerte" (Mexico & Costa Rica), "Pirpinto de la Yeta" (Argentina), "Tara Bruja" (Venezuela) or simply "Mariposa negra" (Colombia); in Nahuatl (Mexico) it is "Miquipapalotl" or "Tepanpapalotl" (miqui = death, black + papalotl = moth); in Quechua (Peru) it is "Taparaco"; in Mayan (Yucatán) it is "X-mahan-nah" (mahan = to borrow + nah = house); in Jamaica and the Caribbean, the moth is known as the "Duppy Bat" or "Money moth". Other names for the moth include the Papillion-devil, La Sorcière Noire, or the Mourning or Sorrow moth.

Like many moths, the Black Witch only flies at night. It may hang under eaves or cars to sleep through a day or two in its migration. The black witch can only suck up nourishment through a straw-like proboscis that is coiled on its head in flight. The odor of soft overripe fruit attracts it, and so does the alcohol that forms when fruit decays. Food must be a pulpy liquid for the moth to be able to eat it.

The beginning of the rainy season in Mexico, in spring, triggers the first northward migration, and overlapping generations of the moths move north through the warm months. They are common in the American desert southwest, but stragglers have been seen in New Jersey and even Alaska. They are also known in Hawaii, although they are not native there. They breed year around where conditions permit. In fall, they pull back southward.

The larva feed on acacia, mesquite and locust, and Candle Bush, Woman’s Tongue, and Texas Ebony. They are large, nearly 3 inches long, and pale gray tinged with brown. They have stripes and spots that help them blend in with the bark of the plants that are their food.

The adult moth, the imago, is bat-like in form and flight, inspiring many superstitious beliefs throughout its range. Its large size, silent movement, and nocturnal activity are associated for us with the ancient terrors of night.  In general it is an omen of bad luck. If it flies into a house in Mexico where someone is ill, that person will surely die. This belief has been modified in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas so that the moth must fly in and visit all four corners of the house for the spell to take effect.  In some Caribbean populations, the Sorciere Noire is believed to be an actual witch in disguise, and to see it means someone has cast an evil spell on you. In Jamaica it is called a Duppy Bat, and believed to be a lost soul. In parts of the Bahamas, folklore calls them Moneybats, and tells that they bring prosperity. In Hawaii, where the huge moths are only occasionally seen, some people claim that the black witch is a dead friend come to say goodbye.

The novel Silence of the Lambs uses the pupa of the Black Witch moth as a prop. However, in the film version, its place is taken by the less subtly unsettling Deaths-head Hawkmoth.

I was not unsettled by this visit at all; in fact, I saw this as an indication that Haftorang was aware of my efforts.

Friday, July 15, 2016

July 6, 2016: Calcination, Wild Unknown Tarot Death card

July 6, 2016:

Back to reality after a nice long 4th of July weekend.  My next step is to review the alchemic process, since alchemy is one of the correspondences of Haftorang. 

The alchemic process, or Great Work, can be used as a literal method or a mental method.  I will be making use of this process for spiritual growth, so I will focus on the mental method.  I have gone through the seven steps before, but taking them one at a time will enable me to get more from them.  I gathered a bit of information from several websites on the internet, and I pulled out and dusted off my copy of The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Alchemy by Dennis William Hauck.

The first step is Calcination.  Chemically, Calcination is achieved by heating a substance until it is reduced to ashes.  The process is said to correspond with sulfuric acid, which eats away flesh and reacts with every metal except gold.  Calcination corresponds with the element of Fire, the planet of Saturn, and the metal of Lead.  In the body, Calcination corresponds to metabolic discipline or aerobic activity, which tunes the body and burns off excesses that are the result of overindulgence.  Calcination creates a lean, mean fighting machine!  The process of Calcination begins in the root chakra, at the base of the spine. 

Calcination represents the destruction of ego, which can be an uncomfortable process that takes place suddenly, or over a period of days, weeks, months, years, or even a lifetime.  It can be a deliberate surrender, or it can be forced upon us.  If purposely experienced (and I’m assuming this time it should be deliberate), Calcination involves introspection and self-evaluation, with heat being generated by personal consciousness and by life experiences.

All this heat has a drying effect, burning away the “inner moisture” that are emotions and feelings.  I am being told that I need to be objective, I need to look at myself without hurt, judgment or pride.  I also need to remember that this process of Calcination, and the Great Work itself, is not meant to be performed on just one level.  I need to do this work physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually in order for the process to be effective. 

Calcination could be seen as a form of Death; interesting that I threw the Death card today.  This is not physical death, but rather the death of habits, attitudes, attachments and dependencies that no longer serve me.  Here is what I wrote about the Wild Unknown Death card, which shows the skeleton of a bird: “I adore the image on this card; it absolutely captures the idea of transformation without bringing in the fear.  Here is the duckling of The Fool and the swan of the Cups Court Cards, or at least what is left of them after their life forces have departed and their bodies have mostly decayed and gone back to where they began so new life can spring from their ingredients.  There are still some feathers left, and a beak on the skull, like the fading memories left in our minds of someone who was once alive.  Most of what was here once has gone on to another plane of existence, the life force back to the Divine and the body back to the Earth.  We don’t know what it is like to die, but there is a rightness to this image that reassures.  Life may not be forever, but neither is Death.”

Have a nice weekend!


Thursday, July 14, 2016

June 29, 2016, Fomalhaut, the star

June 29, 2016: 

Here is some general information about the star named Fomalhaut that I found on several websites from the internet:

Fomalhaut is the brightest star in the constellation Piscis Austrinus and one of the brightest stars in the sky. It is a Class A star on the main sequence approximately 25 light-years from Earth as measured by the Hipparcos astrometry satellite. Since 1943, the spectrum of this star has served as one of the stable anchor points by which other stars are classified. It is classified as a Vega-like star that emits excess infrared radiation, indicating it is surrounded by a circumstellar disk. Fomalhaut B, K-type star TW Piscis Austrini and Fomalhaut C, M-type star LP 876-10 constitute a triple system even though the companions are separated by several degrees.

Fomalhaut holds a special significance in extrasolar planet research, as it is the center of the first stellar system with a visible extrasolar planet candidate (Fomalhaut b) imaged at visible wavelengths. The image was announced on November 13, 2008 (my sister’s birthday!) and published in Science in November 2008.  Fomalhaut b was believed to have at least the mass of Neptune.  In 2012, studies confirmed that while Fomalhaut b does exist, it is shrouded by debris, so it may be a gravitationally-bound accumulation of rubble rather than a whole planet.  In 2013 it was determined that the planet had a 2,000-year long highly irregular elliptical orbit.  In 2015, the planet earned a name: Dagon. 

Fomalhaut is the third brightest star (as viewed from Earth) known to have a planetary system, after the Sun and Pollux.  Fomalhaut is sometimes called the Loneliest Star because no other bright stars shine near it in the sky.  Fomalhaut is more recently known as the “Eye of Sauron” because the image of its striking debris disk looks eerily similar to the image of the Eye in the Lord of the Rings films. 

Fomalhaut is a young star, for many years thought to be only 100 to 300 million years old, with a potential lifespan of a billion years, less than our cooler, older, slower-burning sun.  Fomalhaut's mass is about 1.92 times that of the Sun, its luminosity is about 16.6 times greater, and its diameter is roughly 1.84 times as large.  It is located south of the celestial equator, but is visible from a large part of the Northern Hemisphere. 

Fomalhaut is associated with Archangel Gabriel (with Archangel Michael associated with Aldebaron/Tishtya and the cardinal direction of east, Archangel Raphael associated with Regulus/Venant and the cardinal direction of south, and Archangel Uriel associated with Antares/Satevis and the cardinal direction of west).  Archangel Rapael and Regulus were considered to be the leaders of the four Watchers or Guardians or Royal Stars for a long time, but with the advent of the “age of man,” the leadership has fallen to the more human of the Archangels, Gabriel.  Remember that in the New Testament of Christianity, it is Archangel Gabriel who announces the birth of Christ. 

Fomalhaut has a kind of mixed influence on us.  His energies can be magickal and mystical and highly spiritual, or they could encourage us to be lethargic, to hide from reality, and prone to substance abuse.  Like the other three Royal Stars, Fomalhaut can offer glory, honor, fame, and riches, but he also can raise us to heights from which we would not want to fall.  Keeping grounded in reality is the challenge here; something for me to remember.


Wednesday, July 13, 2016

June 28, 2016: Royal Watcher Fomalhaut/Haftorang

June 28, 2016:

Here is a section of an essay I wrote regarding the Royal Stars of Persia and the Watchers:

Fomalhaut (“fum al hut” or “mouth of the fish,” and “the Star of Alchemy”), Persian name Haftorang, Haftoreng or the Haptoiringas (also associated with Ursa Major), reaches dominance at the Winter Solstice, and is found in the constellation Pisces; it is associated with Archangel Gabriel, and magic, fame, the occult, faith, alchemy, addiction, undesirable associates and congenital birth defects.  Metaphysically, it is associated with the element of Earth (cold, Winter, nighttime) and with the cardinal direction of North.  This star is associated with creative mental energy, which can either have a positive effect or a challenging one.

Right off the bat, something jumps out at me: Haftorang is associated with Ursa Major, The Bear.  “Bear” is my name for Ailm’s mate (Ailm is my spirit guide).  That means she is involved in this somehow; perhaps she is an “approved” source?  Time to do another meditation.

Later, same day:

Well, I did a meditation and Ailm told me right off the bat that yes, she knows Haftorang. 

It turns out that Bear works with Haftorang, as I expected once I re-read my research, and so do his people.  Ailm was not allowed to say anything about this to me until now; she had strict orders from Bear, who had strict orders from my now-good-buddy, Haftorang.  That is why Ailm and Bear and Bear’s people go to the mountains in the Winter (which always seemed counterproductive to me, but I had never asked why they didn’t stay in the lowlands for Winter); Bear wants to be with his people during the season of Haftorang.  They celebrate the Winter Solstice in part as a celebration of Haftorang and his star.  They often plan impromptu celebrations on clear Winter nights when the weather is good and the star is visible.  In fact, they live in the mountains because the star Fomalhaut never rises too far from the horizon, so they are better able to see the star from the high mountains and across the distant plains to the horizon. 

I asked Ailm if there were any other parallel situations; she said not that she was aware of right now but even if she knew of one, she might not say anything just yet.  Fair enough.

I think it is time to do some research about the star itself.  Guess that is my next project.


Tuesday, July 12, 2016

I'm back, and working on the Great Work!

June 27, 2016: 

Okay, so I felt this coming for a while.  My disconnect has pushed me and circumstances allowed me to do a very effective meditation.  Once I knew I was in deep, I opened my mind, and whispered, “Okay, I’m ready.  What are you trying to tell me?”

I found myself standing before a stream in a wooded area, right where I stood last night with E (during a PBT evening).  I was alone, dusk was approaching and random lightning bugs were waking up, and it was sprinkling.  I could hear the raindrops hitting the leaves on the trees, and I could see some of the closer leaves as they jerked and flopped when a raindrop hit them. 

I heard a rustling in the undergrowth, and there before me appeared a gnome about 3 feet tall, looking just like a garden gnome only dressed in browns and dark greens.  He handed me a large mushroom to use as an umbrella, and then with a wave of his hand, said, “Come! Come!”  He began to walk away, looking back until he was sure I was following him.

Across the stream we splashed.  Yes, my feet were wet; I paused to attempt to take off my shoes, but the gnome hissed, “Come!”  So I splashed across the mud and water, feeling kind of silly as I held the mushroom over my head to keep my hair dry yet waded through the water with my shoes on, and climbed up the far bank.  Into the trees we headed.  I hurried to keep up; it was getting darker, and the fireflies were blinking all around me.  We weaved in and out of the trees, until we stopped before a huge boulder.

The boulder was mostly round, and taller than I was.  Obviously moved here during the last ice age and never moved again, it was surrounded by bushes and small trees.  The gnome waved me around to the far side of the boulder, and pointed at the large split that created a dark vertical crevice in the huge stone.

“In!” he hissed.  When I looked at him with eyebrows raised, he hissed again.  “In! In!”  He pointed at the vertical slit, and then reached out and took my mushroom umbrella.  Again, he pointed to the slit.

“Okay, okay!”  I said.  I paused, looked at the dark hole, then back at the gnome.  Once more, he pointed to the opening.  I moved close enough to put my hands on the rock, then turned sideways and slipped in.

I expected to get jammed immediately, but as soon as I slid between the two sides of the crack, I was somewhere else.  Ahead of me the crack stretched way deeper than it should have, given the size of the boulder it halved, with the path forward dimly lit by the twilight outside.  I slid forward with my body sideways, twisting and turning as I slithered deeper.  At one point, I hit a tight spot and for a moment I feared that I was stuck. 

“Shit.”  I breathed in, pushed hard, and popped forward.

Suddenly the narrow passage widened.  I stopped moving forward because there was no more light.  I could not see what was ahead of me past a couple of feet.  Now what?

I heard the scraping of stone against stone, and then saw a large shape moving out of the darkness.  It was tall, very tall, and massively bulky.  I could not see much in the darkness, especially because the creature’s skin seemed to be all browns and blacks, but I knew it was about 2 feet taller than I was.  Its shoulders were wide, its chest was wide; its head was massive, and it had horns . . . not real long horns (which makes sense; kind of hard to move through tunnels with long horns), but the diameter of each horn where it disappeared into the side of the creature’s head was about the length of my hand, from the heel of my hand to the tip of my middle finger.  Its eyes were a dark brick red, with black irises and pupils.

It stood still, as I looked it . . .er . . .him up and down.  ‘Nuff said about that.  “Who . . .”  My throat closed, but then I gasped as I heard his name in my mind.  Not spoken out loud, but clear as if he shouted his name.


“No.  You can’t be.”  I whispered hoarsely. 

“What did you think I would look like?” he asked, dripping sarcasm, again not out loud but in my mind. 

“What happened to the robed figure with the beautiful tree pin?” My voice cracked as I said the word “pin,” and I swallowed.

“Pffft.”  He waved his massive, three-fingered hand dismissively.  “That’s the way we Watchers look until the student is ready.” 


“It’s time for you to wake up.  Ground yourself, and then listen carefully, human.”

He went on to explain.  It was time for me to begin to delve deeper into my personal spiritual path and return toward actively evolving as a spiritual being.  This is not about Sacred Mists, it is about me, so I should not be looking for lessons created by other Seekers.  Yes, I can research, and in fact I should be researching like crazy.  Yes, I can share what is happening with those who I trust, and ask questions or get advice if needed (and he frowned at me as he said this; I guess I’m supposed to ask him first), but this is my Journey.  And yes, I am to journal everything.  As always, these things might be important in the future.

My job for now is to learn everything I can about him.  I am to get to know him “from top to bottom, inside out,” to quote him.  I am to meditate about him, talk to him, become intimately (yeah, he emphasized that word) familiar with his energies, and with my own energies as they are connected to my physical body, its workings, and its abilities.  I am to continue working with my physical body and my energy body, and I am to begin to deepen and broaden my personal experiences with the energies of the world around me, both “the natural world and the concrete jungles of man, and the manners in which they interact.”  His words. 

I asked him if I was to become The Magician.  “Nope,” he said.  “He’s too pretty.”  Really??

He rolled his eyes, then reminded me that I was moving forward, which meant that I was learning new information, new metaphors, new visuals.  Yes, the information I’ve already learned is important (“even that pansy is important”), and I will definitely be using it as a foundation, but I can’t allow that information to box me in.  I asked him why I was starting with North; I begin my Circle Castings in the East.  He reminded me that when I first began to practice my Craft, before joining Sacred Mists, I began my Circle Castings in the North, so North is where we will begin. 

“And don’t think that East is next,” he said, gruffly.  “This is not a Circle Casting.  I (again with the emphasis) will decide when you are done and where you will go next.”

He continued explaining, answering my questions.  Yes, my Elemental Guide, Ophion, looks like a smoother, softer version of him because Ophion falls under his auspices.  Okay, I did know that; an Elemental Guide would be ruled by the corresponding Watcher.  He said that he looks similar to Cernunnos because Cernunnos, a Horned God, is kind of his boss.  Kind of.  Deities are higher up on the “corporate ladder” than Watchers.  LOL, again, his words.  That makes sense too, since the Sacred Masculine, especially the aspect of Horned God, is connected to the physical world and its manifestations.  And yes, it is perfectly fine that I call him “Haftorang”; that is, after all, one of his names.

He also warned me that I won’t be allowed to slip back into lethargy.  Yes, yes . . . he knows all about the Saturn Return and Saturn in retro (he rolled his eyes here); he does not care.  It’s time to wake up, and if I won’t do this willingly, he will slap me upside the head with that cosmic 2 by 4.