Articles/Essays From Pagans
March 9th. 2014 ...
Healing the Witch Within
Discovering Wicca as a Young Child
March Pisces Energy: Pre-natal Memories and Standing Upright
March 2nd. 2014 ...
Lessons of Ostara: Six Ways to Move Forward
The Wiccan Priest - The Misunderstood Role
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The Secret Teaching: Selected Aspects
February 23rd. 2014 ...
Wicca or Traditional Witchcraft: Some Differences
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The Wonders and Gifts of Paganism and Community
What Makes Us What We Are
February 16th. 2014 ...
Death, Grief, and Psychopomp Work in Shamanic Healing
The Stones of Fear: Anxiety Relief
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February 9th. 2014 ...
Words of Power!
The Allure of Glamour in the Apocolypse
Lunar Insight Planetary Preponderances: Year of the Horse, Imbolc and Mercury Grazings
February 2nd. 2014 ...
The Magick of Jewelry and Metals
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The Golden Bough: a Study Guide (Part 2)
January 26th. 2014 ...
Love of Self: The Hardest Thing To Do
The Golden Bough as a Seminal Work in the Neo Pagan Movement (Part 1)
13 Keys: The Mercy of Chesed
Lightworking In The Screen Age: Staying Connected
January 19th. 2014 ...
Open Letter to the Goddess
A Southern Girl's Guide to Hospitality
Social Conventions and the Pagan World
January 12th. 2014 ...
Never Once Was There a An Athame Near My Chalice: My Very Sheltered Occultist Upbringing
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January 5th. 2014 ...
Religion vs Practice: Defining Witchcraft in a Modern Age
Traditional Apprenticeships: Training in the Modern Pagan Abbey
2014's Magickal Magnificent Manifestations!
Lunar Insight Moon Musings, Planetary Preponderances: Wise and Wild
December 29th. 2013 ...
My Top Ten Favorite Cauldrons (Part 3)
13 Keys: The Might of Geburah
Beyond The Season of Greed
December 22nd. 2013 ...
My Top Ten Favorite Cauldrons (Part 2)
December 15th. 2013 ...
The Hex Murder of 1928
My Top Ten Favorite Cauldrons (Part 1)
Lady of the Forest Mist (A Story of the Woods)
Lunar Insight Moon Musings: Hunting, Fires and Parting Shots
December 8th. 2013 ...
Help and Thoughts for Pagans New to the Journey
Using Your Wand in Reverse
Leaving a Group - Part 2: Leaving, Healing and Moving Forward
The Cry of the Soul
December 1st. 2013 ...
The Tarot as a Tool for Raising Consciousness
A Pragmatic Look at Neo Paganism
Leaving a Pagan Group – Part 1: To Leave or to Stay?
November 24th. 2013 ...
The Pagan and the Papacy
The Groovy Aquarian Christ: Jesus From a Pagan Perspective
November 17th. 2013 ...
For Love of the God
Which Witch? Philosophical and Psychological Roots of Wicca
A Threat to Religious Liberties?
November 10th. 2013 ...
Where did Aleister Crowley’s Influence on Wicca Go?
Thoughts on the Threefold Law/Law of Return
The Celtic Tree Calendar
Nine Creeds: A Statement and Explanation of My Beliefs
November 3rd. 2013 ...
The Mundane/Spiritual Mirror: What Does it Say About Your Life?
October 27th. 2013 ...
Thoughts On a Miley-Cyrus/ Robin-Thicke Society
On Being Wiccan: Some Unsolicited Advice
Pagan Religious Communities in your Area: Connecting With and Creating Them
Banishing, Invocation and the Lesser Ritual of the Pentagram
October 20th. 2013 ...
Bottle Spells and Magick in Hoodoo Tradition
Weather Magick: Who is Responsible for the Weather?
Broom Closet: In or Out?
On Coven and Claws
October 13th. 2013 ...
Destroying to Create: A Lesson from the Dead
Consume the Scorpion- Scorpion Energy Revisited
October 6th. 2013 ...
UPG and U: A Breakdown and Building Up of Unverified and Unsubstantiated Personal Gnosis
Answering The Call from Spirit
Coping with the Loss of a Familiar
The Five-way Road: A Pagan Pilgrimage, Part 2 (The South)
September 29th. 2013 ...
Six Reasons Why Covens are Here to Stay
Priestessing and Titles: What's the Point?
Truth or Convenience? Questioning Motives for Spiritual Advancement
Speaking Up: The Conflict Between the Spiritualist and Our Human Experience
September 22nd. 2013 ...
Death of a Friendship within the Craft
NOTE: For a complete list of articles related to this chapter... Visit the Main Index FOR this section.
Awakening to Immanence
Article ID: 14473
Age Group: Adult
Days Up: 1,004
Times Read: 2,387
RSS Views: 12,166
Author: Khi Armand
Posted: June 12th. 2011
Times Viewed: 2,387
I move through the house with purpose and poise through the televangelist’s shouts-like-bullets ringing out from the television. He preaches Original Sin and inborn deficiency, separateness from the Divine except through intermediary. A commitment to denying one’s subjective experience must follow, he says, and intimate connections with others must be sacrificed if they do not do the same. I grab the tools I feel inspired to work with, the ones that call out to me as I scan my room, and remind myself to thank them for allowing me to use them as offerings to the Spirit world.
“Go to the Crossroads, ” I was told during my meditation. “Go to the Crossroads and honor them.”
I had been recently banned from continuing my practices in my parents’ house, my room having become an overtly productive workshop of intentional medicines and artful curios: contraband. My temple of fervent devotion and active inner work to heal the effects of the false ceremonies of our empty age made illegal. I shove sweetgrass and a sprig of sage into my pocket, grab a half-empty bottle of Coca-Cola from the fridge, and check to see if I have my cigarettes / offerings / vices as I slip out the front door into the frigid night.
I work with and honor many Spirits whose magicks are just aspects of greater perspectives they offer me on life, love, sex, money, power, and what is of value in this lifetime. They are not genies (as I have learned the hard way) but allies – real friends whose wisdom is of greater importance than the bargains they’re willing to make with me now and again for quick assistance in one or more of life’s arenas. They are great and powerful, beautiful and horrible, and are ingenious Masters of Disguise to have survived the colonizing forces who wished to suppress belief in them.
One who is called Maximón allows himself to be called a Guatemalan folk saint (San Simón) , wearing a black brimmed hat and a suit while sitting at the Crossroads. I see him as a Godfather personality, capable of being extremely generous because he understands the metaphysics behind Prosperity. I tell him that I know him and that I am wise to his earlier form – water spirit, Mayan deity of the Underworld. In times of abundance he gets tobacco, crisp tortillas, whiskey, the bright smoke of copal, and lollipops. He will steal the cigarette from between my lips, its cylindrical mass disappearing into the ether, as a joke from brother to brother and father to son. But these have not been abundant times as of late (I still have much to learn about Prosperity) . This evening, I share what I can.
Witches and conjurers love the night, its blanket like a dimmer on a world grown too loud; a world that drowns out the subtle whispers of fey kingdoms, the humming of Ancestors, the decrees and pronouncements of Aesir, Orisha, Olympians, Lwa, Netjeru, and the Gods and Goddesses of other pantheons. The very rumble of Gaia creeps beneath TV static and the lights from Times Square make us blind to the silky threads of Spider medicine connecting Oprah’s tweets to her followers.
This world is bent on drowning these out, for if it did not, we might listen and know our true selves outside the cost of a latte and the struggles of minimum wage. We might shake off the shackles of conformity and allegiance to oppressive systems with greater ease and may unite to rise up like Titans to defend the ancient alliance between people and land. We might topple the Tower whose spire mocks our efforts to live happily, sustainably, with purpose, and with joy without the need for pills or the marginalizing of difference. True Sight stands in opposition to their Profits, and so it must be strangled out of us.
There is neither ritual plan nor toolbox; nothing but herbs falling through a hole in the pocket of a jacket I’ve been meaning to mend for some weeks now. I became familiar with the Crossroads from my conjure work – my hoodoo rites and bathwater tossing; suburban corner road opening work before Thursday sunrises as the 9-to-5ers climb into their cars. I know it as a place of power; a portal for gathering and dispersing associated with innumerable entities the world over. An ecumenical temple found in every town and city, it is sometimes called upon by way of drawing it on paper or laying lines of dirt in its plus sign fashion upon the floor. A Black Man can change your life at the Crossroads and its soil can heal a marriage that still has time left on the clock. The Spiritual is embedded in the Physical like bones within a body. It is Here and cannot be escaped; there is no separation. Our society imagines and creates a kind of osteoporosis. We are desperate for structure and meaning that only recognition of Spirit in all of its subtle density can alleviate.
Standing beneath a streetlamp, I blow three puffs of tobacco to honor the spirit of the Crossroads. Sometimes it is Legba / Eleggua, sometimes Maximón, sometimes something as yet unnamed, but I know that it deserves honor. The smoke mingles with gratitude and intention in my lungs and rides out from my mouth toward the center of the two streets in union. The black tar glistens wet after a recent rain and the sounds of moving cars and trains are as distant as dreams. My rite tonight is eclectic, drawing on wisdom and relationships from all of my paths up until this point. I love traditions, but even these have sprung from innovation. Besides – these entities are my family, so personal that though I know their favorite venues, they can also meet me at a bar closer to my house and we’ll have a good ole time anyway.
The locale honored, I step into its center, facing East from where the Sun rises and days begin. One by one, each of my matches proves futile and my hope for fragrant smoke to rise out of this concrete and vinyl landscape is dashed. Getting over myself and my sensual ideals, I offer the sage itself to the East and express gratitude for the powers of the element I associate with this direction. Turning clockwise to each in turn, I repeat the process with the rope of unlit sweetgrass. Above, below, within, and without, I am centralized. I place both botanicals on the drenched sewer cap beneath my feat. Axis mundi, the center of the world, is where I stand.
There is a war going on between opposing worldviews. An immanent perspective, humanity’s original vehicle, reminds us that we ourselves are Spirit relating to other aspects of the whole as kin, negotiating balance in the ecosystem of life. A transcendent worldview deprives us of this perspective and negotiation turns to battle for resources in an attempt to gain what is already ours. I see many being called to See and I believe that those with Sight are being called to act.
“Performance is currency in the deep world’s gift economy, ” says poet / environmentalist Gary Snyder. By honoring our Spirit kin, we honor and re-member ourselves to the subtle fabric that weaves and is Life.
Coca-Cola is a favorite of Maximón’s; its sweet fizz like a caffeinated elixir spilled onto the ground in his name. The Spirits have evolved alongside us and enjoy many of our creations even more than we do. Libations are poured to my blood ancestors and to the tribe of men-who-love-men who have embraced me, their arms reaching up out of the Underworld to link me more strongly to their strength and the power within our unique cosmic current. I am reminded that I am a living ancestor, here for but a moment in a tag team game of progress, and I carry within myself a message of hope and transformation, an encoded sense of purpose. I will soon make medicines again; some disguised as curious art with the power to pierce the senses to affect the soul. Bubbly corporate concoction to Legba, Light Goddess, and others, their symbols flashing through my mind as the liquid seeps below the ground.
Being followers of Earth-based traditions, we know that natural law gives plenty of guidance. We need not forsake aspects of our current culture to create the world we envision; as with all energy (which cannot be created or destroyed) they need to be transformed. With the Sight, we can see products, media, branding, and other tools used to convince us that we’re no more than consumers for what they really are – Magick. We can use these same tools to remind each other of our inherent worth and of Spirit’s intention to unlock our unique gifts for the greater good.
Acts of honor and recognition of the backbone are the backbone and in strengthening the connection, we strengthen ourselves and our communities.
May songs spring up out of us at random moments of the day. May we tip our beers onto the pavement in the midst of Friday night revelry. May we stage mock break-ups with fear and embrace the place where our passions intersect with our fates. May we touch the hand of another and transmit acknowledgement of innate divinity and purpose. The revolution will be through acts of loving-kindness that reverberate like ripples across the fabric and come back to meet and affirm our own selves. Because belief is not enough. Neither is discussion. We must answer the call to act.
I take a sip of the Coca-Cola and feel myself a thread in the tapestry.
Location: New York, New York
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