Tuesday, October 27, 2009


So I've been in Chicago for six days and it has rained everyday.

This is good.

However for the last two and a half days I've been sick.

This is bad.

I ended up postponing my flight back by two days (from Monday to Wed). This has been both nice and difficult. Difficult because I miss my wife and cats, nice because I get to spend more time with my Mom and Dad, kibitzing around the house of my birth (which I get womb-like inspiration from) and driving around in the rain.

The Rain.

I don't get hardly any in Southern California, and although I sure as hell would NEVER want to live in Chicago full time again I can't wait until I can come back whenever I want, stay as long as I want and soak up the rain in a leisurely fashion. I've driven by Bachelor's Grove twice today - it's perfect weather for the Midwest's most haunted cemetary (in the middle of the freakin' woods no less) and I wasn't able to get there because of this goddamn sinus infection ripping my head apart!!!

Tarot for the day:

1) 6 Wands Victory
2) 7 Disks Failure
3) XVII The Star
4) 2 Disks Change
5) IX The Hermit
6) 8 Disks Prudence
7) 10 Swords Ruin
8) 5 Disks Worry
9) (in this case unseen) Queen of Cups

I'm coming from Victories and Failures. These are the starting points or two main impulses (results?) - I'm trying to move from out from under their one-two punch and have better results. I'm My current main influence are the cosmic forces of Nuit represented by the Star card. This fits with my writing shifting back into a 'cosmic' focus. My most recent previous influence is Change, that is the need to. The future will be driven by The Hermit, which means more isolated work ahead as the lights come on and the shadow forces of inspiration are integrated further into my overall sturcture.

What is in the dark (card 6) is Prudence bright perception, vitality and healthy growth. Also possibly winning by not doing anything. This in particular is interesting as I have a lot of 'feelers' out - queries I sent and still have not received responses for. This may be an area open to Magickal 'Push'. What is in the light is Ruin, which doesn't bother me because my interpretation of that is, ah yeah, I've not gotten any positive response from the queries I did get back, so it's all in what's not yet seen.

Finally where the journey will lead is Worry, but the actual picture on the Worry card shows light shining through the dark gears - in other words I'm inclined to receive this as 'you worry and it dampens your sight, but just behind there be a light.'

Wow, a little poem there. How coffeeshop of me.

Nine isn't interpreted here because 8 wasn't one of the Major Arcana. However, The Queen of Cups is one of my cards, so this is good, interpreted as a familiar.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

The Dream State

It's always interesting to me that when I pull away from the Occult like I've been for the last, hell, maybe two years, weird things stop happening to me. Lately I've been re-writing my first novel, Thee Subtle War, which was conceived and performed, for the most part, in the height of a five-year submersion in all things Magickal, and now that I'm back into it it's affecting me by creating, for now, small almost random occurrences of novelty in my day to day existence.

One of the first places this 'heightening of the senses' usually occurs is in my dream time. Never too much of a dreamer (at least as far as remembering or controlling them) Magickal perception very noticeably defines the difference between 'mundane' or 'consensual' from 'hmm, strange' or 'bat shit crazy'.

Yesterday before I went out for the evenings activities I did a simple shuffle-and-pull Tarot consultation. My card was the first card of the deck, THE FOOL. This card usually signifies the beginning of a journey, the aligning of forces, both conscious and subconscious. With so much going 'right' in my life at the moment I'm inclined to interpret my last two full-out spreads (one I posted here a week ago) and now this card as the Universe trying to tell me all elements are in place to kind of hone my day to day with my subconscious - as if to fashion my very existence into a kind of antenna or lightening rod aimed at catching, utilizing and re-firing the wide array of skills and energies I possess/can evoke to achieve my goal.

Anyway... back to my dream. Now where this fits in is a bit weird, with perhaps a touch of 'If you've convinced yourself that's great...' My dream last night/this morning was frightening. No, terrifying. I was somehow involved in a rural area's exploits to perform an exorcism on someone I knew (not sure who, bit hazy). There were definite familiar faces beside the one in trouble but who they were I couldn't tell you now. Anyway, t some point the demon was loosed. From there I remember the priest performing the rite coming in close and touching me firmly on the bridge of the nose - and it was like he passed the spirit into me. I remember feeling that the priest contained something not so nice and was passing it onto me. I woke still feeling the heat and pressure of that touch between my eyes and being pretty much immobilized with fear.

I'm taking this to be something being passed onto me, yet I'm not sure what or how it may filter into my 'Quest'. One thing for sure though, I am definitely ready for some more bizarritude in my life (not at work though). Of course that means I'll have to start actually leaving the house...

Sunday, October 11, 2009

A return to the tarot

I have worked with the Tarot for almost five years, however (and this is a big however) I have not been consistent. In fact it has been at least a full year since I've even picked my gorgeous Thoth deck up. This is an involved skill, and one I know I have to stick with in order to gain it's attributes as my own. Being that analyzing spreads takes quite a bit of time to do it correctly I'm obviously not going to be doing this everyday, but perhaps I can commit to once a week.

This is my first pull and in looking through one of my books I felt a draw toward this layout, The High Priestess, so in keeping with my theory that if you do not listen to your intuition you will lose it, I went with it.

As always, my spreads are done with my impending success as a writer in mind. I do not interpret anything within them to necessarily be applicable to any other area of my life. I'm in a place right now where I feel that my success as a writer is the only thing I am lacking (well, and money to pay off my bills and live, but that is directly tied into the writing).

Okay, so let's see it.

Spread for today:

Technique: The Secret of the High Priestess


1) 8 Swords Interference motivating influence
2) 9 Wands Strength motivating influence (may hinder or enhance #1)

The phases of the moon as metaphor for intentions and impacting factors

3) 6 Wands Victory - current moon
4) 9 Discs Gain - waxing moon
5) Queen Swords - waning moon

Represent the pillars on either side of her Majesty

6) 7 Disks Failure What is in the light/ what is known
7) The Priestess - What is in the dark/ what is yet to be revealed

Where the journey leads/outcome

8) Death

The High Priestess' secret

9) Art

Okay, so let's analyze this.

If cards 1&2 are the two main impulses in my endeavor that could compliment or hinder one another what do we have? Interference and Strength. How do I read that? Well, the interference card is pictorially interesting in that it shows two main ideas criss-crossed or interfered by several others running parallel to them. This is a good analogy for my writing at the moment, as my main project, the novel I am finished with but still requires a small amount of tweaking, has been something I've been unable to focus on due to so many other ideas. The Strength card plays into this as the main wand of the picture connects the moon to the sun, an analogy for connecting the unconscious with the conscious. Interesting thing here is this is, in some ways, the main gist of the book, as the character, a thinly veiled and exaggerated version of myself from a parallel dimension where my life unraveled differently* experiences a series of trials in the 'third act' that are essentially his unconscious mind bubbling over into his conscious mind. This unfolds into my life as a book that has acted as a mirror for me to face interior parts of me I've perhaps never fully come to terms with. But does this mean the Strength helps me or hinders me? Maybe the answer will be in the rest of the cards.

So the next three cards are based on the phases of the moon. Card 3 is the Full Moon and represents current motivating factors, card 4 the Waxing Moon and is the power gaining influence and 5 is the Waning Moon and what power is losing influence.

So what's that mean in realtime?

3 was Victory, which is a slightly more ambiguous card than the previous two. In a nutshell this card tends to represent balance of creative energies which, when strung into a logical narrative with the previous cards can definitely be seen as saying that I am balancing my forces out and the Strength will be a solid foundation for my first two forces. The Interference ebbs and as it disappears a stronger foundation is left beneath my endeavors.

4 is Gain and if you look at Gain you can see the image of three spheres balancing in its center. This seems to be saying (esp. with my proclivity for the number 3) that my elements are solidifying, taking shape and feeding into each other for positive outcome. Hence 'gain'.

5, the Waning influence is The Queen of Swords. This is interesting in that if you look at the card it is very blunt about its meaning. The Queen, which is a creative force has a sharp sword (sharpened whatever, generically Will but overall force or power as held by the person in question (or their in this case their creative force) that they've used to sever the head of someone or something else, in this case that something else is clearly, when this is positioned into my little narrative, the interference and self-doubt.

Next we get the Pillars, which if you look at the card this spread is physically meant to emulate, the High Priestess, are on either side of her. The pillars are obvious nods to the pillars on either side of the entrance to the Temple of Solomon, named Boaz and Joachim and representative of the duality of life - we keep coming back to those original two Wands of force in the first card, but now we're looking at them without all the parallel interfering lines - in fact we're looking at them with the head of the interference severed. So the two Pillar cards were 6 Failure - what is known. Boy, failure is known folks, and I've got the rejection letters to prove it!!! And card 7, The Priestess herself. This is a real Deus Ex Machina here when you think about it. Image within the image, which is really what writing is, making micorcosms out of the macrocosm. This card, or what is to be revealed, is chock full of positive reinforcement. Fertility and Artistic Strength from the Bow (Fallopian Tubes or musical/combative instrument), multiple images of the moon representing an ascentive cycle or, when taken in conjunction with the 2nd card for strength, the 9 of wands where we found the image of moon and sun united, we can see possible interpretations of the unconscious being allowed to complete its cycle. That, to me at least, would suggest the endeavors reach fruition.

Finally we get card 8 which is where the journey leads. The 'What's next moment' so to speak. I pulled Death, and again, even though actual physical death has been on my mind all week here I'm only led to interpret it in terms of my endeavor. Plus, Death is more often the Tarot symbol for transformation. This of course seems to suggest I'll be transitioning with my endeavor. Transforming its nature.

Card 9 is a bit of an addendum. This card is the High Priestess' secret and should only be revealed if it is a member of the Major Arcana. So in the case of drawing for yourself you'd have to look to know, and if it turns out to not be a member of the Major then you do not factor it in. If you were drawing for another you'd simply not show it to them if it was Minor.

But mine was a Major, it was ART, which is one of the cards I've had the strongest relationship with. Again we get the fertility due to the bees on the Image's dress. There is a lot here and most of it is relevant. The Lion and the Eagle have swapped colors and that's a sign for reverse reality. This fits with the transformation card 8 suggested. The brew the Image is crafting is a sign of alchemical mixing, which is a term I use often when thinking about writing. You're mixing your life with these strange, ethereal elements - fiction is reality mixed with fantasy. The ART card here suggests the successful mixing of these, as with my endeavor bearing fruit. There are also signs of equilibrium and balance (also seen earlier) and to me, the picture represents perfectly the physical act of writing.

Interesting. In the end, even though I was consulting references as I wrote this, seeing this post finished and still hot off the experience of writing it I can't help but feel I'm better at the Tarot than I'd previously anticipated. The goal though, of course, is to be able to do the above without consulting anything but my mind.

Friday, October 2, 2009


This could very easily be one of those pieces that start off with me going on about how much I love October, about how it releases some usually inert or obscured elements of my personality that are now able to stretch and come to light in the dying time. But I decided that, although I guess I did kind of just do that anyway, I would not do that.


Because it seems like everybody does that. And not to be a snob but I feel like I'm one of those people who October really does affect in deep and meaningful ways. And yeah, I know every self important asshole feels like that but this is one self important asshole who wants to make it clear that it's not about personal import, it's about the thick and viscous creativity that wells up and sloshes around every aspect of my being during this month.

Now granted some of this has dwindled now that I live in a part of the world where there really is just one long even season. But temperature is relative and let me tell you, in southern california when it's 50 degrees at 8PM you grab a sweater and maybe even curse the chill, because it's cold to you...

I've always found it interesting that in the season of wither (thanks MC) when things are shutting down human creativity could flourish. But then, doesn't that make some kind of sense? Aren't death and trauma two aspects of life that push us the most to vent and 'deal' with our emotions through our creativity? Doesn't it make sense that our invisible senses would react to the plane of our existence, our vegetable co-habitants of our world reaching the end of their lifespans and settling into decay.

Decay. The word alone has such an artistic trill to it. Decay is nature's residue, and what is art?

Art is the nature of man's residue.

The implications are amazing when you think about it. But really, look at the human artist. People they love die and they write and perform songs that will shape the lives and emotions of generations to come. They struggle with the ego-decay of addiction and it moves them to put pencil to page or voice to story and suddenly a resonance is created that will linger, decaying or, perhaps Haunted is a word better suited for my illustration here. And essentially hauntings are decay on a long and emotionally tangible time-frame.

Decay. I like that. Perhaps I'll write a song about it. After all, it's October now, isn't it???