Sunday, 8 December 2019

"The Two Popes": A papacy buddy movie...


Today I saw this in the theatre with a friend of mine - it was one I had been looking forward to for quite some time.  Though I quite enjoyed it, the tone was not what I expected at all.  I thought from the trailer that this was going to be a serious period piece, but it in fact turned out to be a bit of a dramedy.  That in mind, I still felt it (mostly) worked.

Though a great deal of artistic license was taken in the story, this is based on the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI and his relationship to Jorge Bergoglio, the cardinal that would be Pope Francis.  Beautifully shot and expertly cast, the look does not disappoint.  It starts to get really quirky, however, when a rendition of "Dancing Queen" by ABBA plays while the cardinals are entering their chambers to cast ballots for the new Pope - and that's just the tip of the iceberg.  If you can't handle quirkiness in a historical religious movie, you will not like this film.  Sometimes the choices raised even my eyebrows, but in a way I liked how the tone could be rather silly - it was not without a sense of humour, and usually the humour worked.

This is kind of a story about a conservative curmudgeon and a progressive freethinker initially being at odds with one another, ultimately coming to be good friends - so yes, I think of this as a buddy movie.  There are some powerful scenes, though, including flashbacks to Bergoglio's youth, so not all of it is comedy.  It could also be very moving.

I can't for the life of me figure out what the church is going to think of this one - they may like the relaxed tone here because it makes the papacy look slightly friendlier in some ways, or they may find it annoying.  I had to warn my mother, who also wants to see it, to be prepared for the feel not being what the trailer presents, but I think she will still enjoy it.

If anything else, it's something different, and quite entertaining.  Recommended.

-Saraƒin

Saturday, 7 December 2019

Demon at the gay bar...

Some weird shit went down last night for me... hopefully I cleared the issue, but we'll see.  This seems to be something I draw into my life because of something about my presence.  Oh well, let's get into it:

I went to a gay leathermen bar last night for a synthpop event that was being hosted (I had never been to this club before - fairly nice, though not much in the way of seating, and mostly it's for the guys, only a few women were around here and there, but it's welcoming to any gender).  I got the impression a curious spirit was taking an interest in me, which I didn't understand was not a good sign.  I thought it might have just found the spiritual company around me, or something I gave off, fascinating.  Wrong!

Well, this spirit followed me home after I left the event, and began preventing me from sleeping - I kept bursting into laughter as a reaction every time I tried to nod off.  My guide then told me it was negative and that I needed to get out the smudge - I began to feel a dark, creeping feeling in my lower body as it seemed to try to overtake me.  My guide had tried to shoo it away, but the spirit wasn't listening.

I went to my altar and got out the sweetgrass and invoked Metatron to kill it, and used my "Devil, Get Out!" mixture to torment it a little - I also prayed to the Spirit and to St. Michael for assistance.  I took a sleep aid, and after a little while, was able to bed down for the night.

Waking this morning, any sign of it seems to be gone, I think I took care of the problem.  When I did a reading about this, it said some leather daddy in that club was heavily involved with this thing in some occult practice, and the spirit noticed me and decided to mess with me instead.  I didn't know it was a demon until it followed me home.  It wasn't nearly as powerful as the really nasty one I fought for over a decade - this one was small time by comparison.

Maybe I should carry sweetgrass and a lighter with me on my person at all times - sigh.  I was warned negative spirits might be drawn to me again.  But I prayed to the Eastern spirit keeper to be prevented from being invaded again, so that might help.  Never again do I want to experience possession!

-Saraƒin

Friday, 6 December 2019

Let's talk about: Toxic Femininity...

The Sixth Sense - Videotape scene

With all the talk about "toxic masculinity" that is popular right now, I find it frustrating that no one seems to be discussing the feminine equivalent.  As someone who has been harmed by men, I understand the need for the discussion of how toxic masculinity must be stamped out - however, bad feminine traits also exist, and I want to discuss those a bit, as this is a conversation I have had a couple of times with others, where we tried to figure out qualities that could be filed under the negative feminine.

The most classic example of this that I can think of (and probably one of the worst) is the Munchausen syndrome by proxy person, which is demonstrated well in this scene from "The Sixth Sense" by N. Night Shyamalan (back when he could make a film I could stomach).  The Munchausen syndrome by proxy means a parent or caregiver, often a mother, hurts their child or patient to keep them ill, often to promote the need for medical attention, or to simply cause harm - it's a strange kind of poisonous motherly quality that often is seen in old age homes and hospices, especially.  I file this under "toxic femininity" because of the role of being in charge of someone's care being of the more feminine qualities, and it is not restricted to just women, of course... only that it seems women engage in it more than men.  Not as common as most examples of toxic masculinity, but definitely worth discussing.

A more common example of the toxic feminine would be the partner who presents with a gentle facade of sweetness, but underneath this, uses manipulative emotional tactics to get their spouse to do exactly what they want, controlling the situation and hiding behind excuses like, for example, common mental health disorders or addictions, things that would not hold up as an excuse in court if there was a trial for something serious.  Mental disorders such as schizophrenia and sometimes an acute bipolar manic episode mean people who have committed crimes while not well have been legally freed of doing jail time (though not necessarily mental hospital time), and can be excused for certain behaviours, the person not being of a sound enough mind to be criminally responsible.  However, things like certain personality disorders and most mood and anxiety disorders mean the person has enough wherewithal as a mind to control themselves enough not to cross the line, and most never will.  It is a person's responsibility to better oneself mental health wise, despite a diagnosis, and I am tired of the idea of people identifying heavily with psychiatric labelling - not everyone does this of course, but some use mental illness labels as excuses for poor behaviour.  I consider this, also, a form of toxic femininity that any gender can be responsible for, and it seems to be growing in the populous.

These are just two examples, one severe, and one milder and more common, that I can think of when I think of toxic femininity.  I wonder if this subject has or will be discussed at large... I have endured a bit of this sort of energy in my life myself, so I wanted to discuss it here.

-Saraƒin

Thursday, 5 December 2019

The Wolf Medicine Man...

Years ago, during my visionary states, while in trance, I saw some images of a dog mask faced figure who would come and go, whenever dark visions overtook me - the figure would push the visions aside and ask that I work with him.  I also later randomly saw a vision of a wolf headed man appear, but I never pieced together until yesterday what these visions might have been saying.  Turns out I have had a wolf medicine man following me around as a spirit guide, and I had to learn to invoke his aid.  I did so last night after I got home from a round of karaoke.

I am still coming to understand this new connection, so there's not much to say right now, only that I gather he is helping me to heal.  My soul is still weary from the fight with the demon and the initiation, and I need rest, mostly... but any help from the spirit world is going to help me to recover faster.  My body is feeling stronger thanks to a better diet and vegetable supplements, but I still need a lot of sleep and downtime... hence why I am not pursuing any major career moves right now.  I am trying to make my life about fun, rest, and more socializing - something I couldn't do that much of for a very long time, feeling that humanity didn't like me anymore.

This new connection seems to be changing the flow of the channel again, making it easier to read... I will see where this goes.  I got the impression for many years that "a friend" was with me, but I didn't know who this was.  So it seems I have finally figured this out.  Certainly, I have had ancestors and friends from life visit... this is a friend I never knew I had until yesterday.

-Saraƒin

Wednesday, 4 December 2019

Focusing on Native American spiritual practice, and why I am not so keen on certain cultural appropriation arguments...

So now that I have worked extensively on my growth with the more esoteric Catholic kind of devotion, I am exploring tobacco and other plant medicines, as I have discussed recently.  My spirituality is a bit of a hodge podge, and though I do have a tendency to want to label myself (as is human nature) I sometimes need to focus on components of other paths that have worked for me as well.

This book, "Dancing with the Wheel" by Sun Bear, is a wonderful guide on how to pursue practice in Indigenous based spirituality.  I had a copy, but lost it, and had to get another copy a couple years back.  Now that things are moving forward with usage of tobacco for prayer, I am once again turning to this book for ceremonial use of this plant.  There is quite a bit of information about plant medicine and other methods of practice and tools, and I have not read this cover to cover, but I refer to it on and off, more so as of late.  Using tobacco, I am focusing on opening more to the Creator, and in working with the spirit keepers of the Four Directions, because of their attributes and how they might aid me in healing and growth.  Eagle was showing up a lot as a vision, I came to assume it indicated a need to work with the Eastern spirit keeper, so I began with that, and today I started to consider the other directions.  I used tobacco as an offering on a burning charcoal and made requests based on the attributes these keepers might be able to help me with.  Now I wait to see how things move forward.  Just an update.

I wanted to briefly discuss the concept of cultural appropriation on here, something I assume I am bound to be accused of again and again because of my interest and workings with this branch of spirituality.  First off, I want to mention that every elder I have talked to encourages my exploration of indigenous spiritual practice, and none have deemed me using smudge or tobacco the way I have offensive or appropriative.  Maybe I was appropriating tobacco when I was smoking it recreationally, but not anymore.  Secondly, this medicine has made a significant change in my health (sweetgrass and tobacco, mainly), I know it has worked, so this is not for some angry "activist" to decide whether or not I should use it, this is something the gods want me to use.  I do have a bit of ancestry that is native on my Mom's side (I think it's Cree), not strong enough for me to be considered Metis, but that's really not the point.  If this kind of spirituality is not some fad for me, if it serves a purpose and fulfills a need, is this truly worth criticizing simply because I am (mostly) white?  I kind of feel that cultural appropriation becomes a problem when it does harm, and when there is ill intent involved, but if something is done in a positive manner, I don't see it as particularly offensive.  Perhaps there are other components to consider, and I can't speak on a native person's behalf, only that the First Nations people I talk to see no problem with my approach when they understand it.  I don't even see the German obsession with native culture as harmful, even if they look funny about it.  They love it so much they want to experience it, and though they don't get it quite right, I have heard that a lot of elders have smiled at how they want to explore it, and often fall short.  (BTW, Germans are often to Native American spirituality as the Japanese are to "Anne of Green Gables", if you want some idea of this obsession.)

So I get that it's a touchy subject, but I also, as a person with an intense call to explore several components of spirituality (and a need to do so), feel I should be allowed to practice without criticism, and it shouldn't ever come down to race, no matter what race it is.  I hope to one day meet an elder / medicine person who might be a close guide... I know some, but I don't have a regular teacher in that regard as of yet.

-Saraƒin

UPDATE: I am gathering that I am meant to focus on the Eastern spirit keeper, that the others won't necessarily work with me.  So Eagle shall be my focus from this point on in this respect.

Tuesday, 3 December 2019

My desire to be Holy -or- "It's not a PHASE, Mom and Dad!"...

Since developing spiritually after what came of me with my religious problems, after reaching a certain level of growth, I have a driving urge to pursue the holy life, but perhaps in a way that works for my character, the personality of an alternative art chick.  As I have mentioned before, I am likely not suited for the monastic life, though I like to stay in convents from time to time to take in the atmosphere... I still desire to see the world through the eyes of a saint.  I am not calling myself a saint right now, only that I aspire to be one, or to get as close to saintliness as possible.  I want their joys, their religious highs, their insights, their power... I want to see goodness where others can't, I want to be at peace with the way things are, no matter how hard things get.

I saw in 2006 a damned world approaching, or at least a troubled one, and I knew that at the level I was at during that time, I would not survive as a mind.  Pursuing the typical western capitalist thing just didn't seem as appealing a lifestyle as it might have at one time... my old pursuits seemed hollow and dissatisfying, and any art I could create wouldn't mean much in the grand scheme of things without the self awareness I would need to make it strong.  Clearly, I needed to grow, and this became extremely evident as soon as I was spiritually attacked.  So, it wasn't mere desire, but also the necessity that I commit to a kind of holy life, where I could put my relationship with Divinity at the forefront of my pursuits, making the strengthening of that my main goal.

Most, I don't think, understand this kind of drive - some may be curious, but they don't give it enough attention, others try to force it but feel nothing in the process.  The drive has led to me almost obsessing, but I feel this is an example of good obsession.  My analyst often says obsession that is positive is actually a good thing - a surgeon who obsesses about details is infinitely better than one who skirts them during a procedure, for example.  I take great pleasure in my work with Spirit, it is a joy and a simple & inexpensive pastime that leads to healthy results in my character building and personal strength.  I now suffer extremely well in life, so as a result, I suffer much less when I must face suffering.  Complaining about pain does not take it away, it may be validating for a while, but it does nothing to remove it.  So, I choose to find ways to adapt and grow from the suffrage, so I don't experience it the same way anymore.

This is not to say I don't have weak moments, only that I have learned when to have them, and I do so behind closed doors, away from others.  I feel that sharing these moments alone with the Spirit means I don't regret the outbursts as much as I would among my peers, plus I can receive guidance out of my negativity from the Spirit.  I am not slamming others for sharing their pains online or in public, only that I have come to learn that in myself I no longer wish to do this... I feel more comfortable expressing these pains alone, or perhaps with my therapist, or maybe a close family member once in a while.  I do sometimes discuss issues with a close friend, but I always try to be constructive in the conversation, and lessen negativity where I can.  Better conduct in my relations lessens my anxiety and frustrations, and it really dropped after I refused to give online arguments my attention.

I have come to learn to hold my tongue where I might not have in the past, especially when it comes to opinions about certain things, even if I have some kind of authority based on my experiences.  Many things are for people to come to understand on their own, and that is up to them to figure out in a way that suits them.  So, it is best that I be supportive, not preachy - if someone desires my opinion, I may suggest things, but I do not have the right to force ideas on others, and I find some attitudes that are common on the web rather frustrating when this sort of thing happens.  I can set a good example and focus on being a positive presence in the world... if I move people in the process, that's wonderful, but my journey is not their journey, and they, ultimately, are their own journey's authority.

I suppose that after a certain point, in any seeker's life, this kind of drive comes with ease.  It's rather like how making graphic novels became easier after a certain page count - it becomes sort of second nature.  Like anything in life, it just takes devotion.

-Saraƒin

Monday, 2 December 2019

Reasons I am still finding it hard to make art...

Finishing "Asylum Squad" was a bit of a struggle for me.  It shouldn't have been, once I was in the homestretch I was amazed at how hard it was to complete the damn thing.  But I finally did - actually, I just reread the entire plot the other day, and I think it reads well straight through.  I am satisfied I made this comic, but I am not sure I can do another series yet... any art at all seems a struggle.  I made that Hallowe'en costume, but that was for a special occasion, and Hallowe'en always gets me excited about costuming.  Yet even painting has been something I haven't been able to get back into, even though I want to paint Tommy Wiseau as a patron saint.  So why the dry spell?

One reason is because, after a project of the size that "Asylum Squad" was, I need a hiatus, even if it's going to last indefinitely.  I just don't have any projects inspiring enough to start anything new, and I don't even want to do commissions for anyone.  Going to the Toronto Comic Jam has been less desirable, and I barely pick up a pen except to make note of something, or do spirit writing.  If I have any career in art at all, it's on hold, and I am focusing more on the possibility of becoming a professional psychic.  Some have suggested I design my own deck of tarot cards, but that seems like such an art school student cliche... plus, I am graduating from using tarot and oracle decks when I read.  So no... I doubt I will do that.  It's been done to death, my deck would just get lost in a sea of other decks.

The other reason, perhaps the main (and more tragic) reason is because of the impact of my father's death.  My Dad had some rather unfortunate "words of wisdom" about quitting comics for me back when I was working on "The Psychosis Diaries" - he saw that book as "self indulgent" and told me to quit this form of art because he said I had yet to succeed in what I was doing, so it was bound to fail.  He was a man who only liked cartoons in "The New Yorker", but hated all other cartoons, and would often, though not always, talk down to the idea of me being a cartoonist.  I am not so much miffed that he said these things as I am affected by his words, and now I don't find cartooning fun anymore.  Kind of like a "you were right, Dad" kind of thing... I just don't get the same level of joy from drawing and cartooning that I once did, which set in around the time he was in palliative care.  I kind of think the only thing that could bring my lost love of art back would be a major career opportunity... otherwise, I might be a hobbyist who does this sort of thing once in a while from now on, and nothing more.  It's possible a renewed love could come, but it's been two and a half years since Dad died, and I am still completely bankrupt in this respect.

Though I don't feel like I can do much in the way of art right now, I do have a drive to write - hence this blog.  I want to tell my real story, I want to explore who I am and what I am becoming.  I may take this writing down one day when I am done, but for now I want to see how things develop, and explore that.  I am not sure what people think of this page, but I feel the need to keep working on it regardless.

I keep getting a premonition (that I hope isn't just psychic nonsense) of a golden, 10 of Pentacles opportunity on the horizon.  Not sure what to make of it, only that it has come through quite a few times.  In the meantime, I shall aspire to think like St. Francis of Assisi and try to love lady poverty... it seems easier than making it as an artist in the big leagues in this city.

Speaking of St. Francis, seeing as Christmas is approaching, here's a fun fact: he invented the Nativity Scene, which makes perfect sense considering the animals surrounding the manger, St. Francis being a mighty animal lover.  I didn't know this until recent times.

-Saraƒin

Sunday, 1 December 2019

"In Solidarity" inks...

So here are the inks for the next cover - the collected book is to be called "Asylum Squad: (The Complete!) In Solidarity", or perhaps I will just call it "Asylum Squad: In Solidarity", as there will only be one book of this portion of the story.  I am going to likely get around to colouring this cover on my computer soon, and I will then proceed with all the inner workings for the graphic design before putting the files together to get to my printers.  They graciously do all the In Design work for me, as I don't know how to do that, so it takes time for that to get done.  So I expect a spring release book launch for this novel.

For this cover, I decided on a montage of characters from this part of the story.  Trish Adams and Josh Lyon made the cut, as did our protagonist Liz Madder (of course), the other members of Squad, and Armananstantanu.  I did not include Anaya Gupta on here because she's kind of a spoiler - the Squad isn't, because it's presumed that they get back together anyway, because of how the story is structured.  The tower of St. Dymphna's Psychiatric Hospital is also here, to suggest a return.  I think I will have a kind of evening lighting to this cover, and I want the moon visible at the top, which I will add later.

Often my comic is compared to that Zach Snyder film, "Sucker Punch", which makes my eyes roll back in my head so far I can see my brain stem.  That movie was basically a music video trying to be a video game, and I was stunned that something so over the top and pretty could be so dull.  Yes, there are some mild similarities, but I actually think that parts of my comic in some ways are more like "Nightmare On Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors", a much more fun piece of camp.  Also, those elements of the comic came before "Sucker Punch", so it's not ripping that movie off, and I must have unconsciously included like elements of the latter film because I didn't even see that until after "The Jung Ones" arc was completed.  I like to think of it as its own thing - certainly it has elements that are similar to other pieces in it, but it's like those elements were mixed in a blender to create a new flavour.  There are enough mental health related comics out there, but very few talk back to the status quo of how we frame what we call mental illness, and about how messed up the psychiatric system is right now.

Maybe "Asylum Squad" came out at a time when people were not ready for these kinds of ideas... maybe I am ahead of my time, I am not sure.  It would be cool if it had been a bigger hit... then again, I shy away from promoting myself, I feel arrogant in doing so.  Fame is also rather daunting when it goes sour.

-Saraƒin

Friday, 29 November 2019

"Awaken With JP"...


This guy is one of my favourite YouTubers.  I don't know enough about him, only that I get a vibe that he's a legit seeker who mocks seekers who go about things the wrong way, or with the wrong intentions - there are enough videos where he states his honest opinions and insights, but most of his videos are very amusing satire.  I discovered him a while back, and have followed him on and off since.

Watch his videos here - it is well worth it, he's hilarious... he's a parody of the douchey white guy new ager, and he plays it up so well:


-Saraƒin

Thursday, 28 November 2019

Why I am so hard on myself...

I guess I sound a bit harsh towards myself sometimes on here - I try to be wise about things, but I guess there's an odd edge to me once in a while that makes it sound like I am extremely melancholic.  There's reasons for that, so I shall go into it in this article:

Having come out of the events of the past, I feel many of my sorrows have not been resolved, in part due to the fact that I have yet to make peace with certain individuals.  There's one person in particular that I fear might summon legal action against me if I were to do as little as to reach out in an email to discuss things, others are former friends who seemed to think I was psychologically gone and probably still have assumptions about me.  (There would be no hard feelings from me if I could talk to certain people, I just want to make peace at this point.)  Without the resolution that I need, I hold onto trauma a bit more than I should, so I have a tendency to see life as bleak in some respects, though I also try to think a bit like a martyr about it in some ways, as extreme as that sounds, to see goodness in bleakness.  Life is mostly peaceful right now, and I do my best to remember that, but without the conversations I need, there are issues that lurk in my mind.  Hence my desire to distance myself from pursuing romance and certain wants... I feel that rising above these things could be the road I need to take to move on.  It's like I have to be austere now to find joy.

Sometimes I see myself as similar to Miss Havisham from "Great Expectations", holding onto the past, not able to move forward entirely.  Although I think we all suffer a bit from this kind of thing to some extent, I see myself as someone who can't be respected because of where I was, and who I used to be.  I try on certain female archetypes because I know the world did not appreciate the woman I was, I don't like who I was either, and I am trying to find the "right" kind of woman to be after I failed as the "wrong" kind of woman.  Society made it very clear that I wasn't shaping up as the old version of myself, so I work extremely hard on myself at all times to refine the person that I am, in the hopes that I am forgiven for being the old me.  I spend at least 6 hours every single day in contemplation and prayer, trying to shape myself, to be the most pristine version of Saraƒin that I can amount to.  Never again do I want to be that creature, I see her as weak in character and a failure in other respects.  Perhaps this is harsh, but that's where I am with my past right now.

I guess I am simply going through a phase where I feel like I have to give myself tough love to be a better person - after years of being in torment, it's hard to come out of it without some form of challenge in me remaining.  I never want to fall out of society again, I never want to repeat being the topic of the day in the rumour mill as I was.  The idea of fame frightens me a bit right now, because I was considered infamous for a time, and it was horrible.  I suppose I could move on from this mindset if something great were to happen career wise, but right now I just feel vulnerable thinking about that.  I don't expect to be loved, but I appreciate it if it comes my way.

So yeah... I am pretty hard of myself, I always have been, but I am trying to be constructive about it now.  I am a happier person than I was, perhaps I am even happier than most, but the problems I have with unfinished business in relations to others leave a hole in my heart that I am not sure how to heal from.

-Saraƒin

Wednesday, 27 November 2019

The 10 year photo comparison challenge...

This is a thing going around on Facebook, a 10 year difference photo comparison, then and now (except I'm not using pics of myself in this case).  Here we go:

2009

What a fucking disaster.  Just getting out of CAMH by that summer, daily "highs" included doing my own dishes and laundry, and longing for a better future.  I hear ya, Stargate man - what a nightmare.  My housing situation was shit, I wouldn't find work until 2010 (when I would also give art school a try... later leaving because I can't stand school), but at least I was on the outside again.  My mind was weary and I lived in fear of dying in youth.

2019

Having found my footing several years back, I am now doing very well in many respects, even though I tread at working class levels of income, though without dependents so it's not so bad.  I have many friends, a stronger psyche than ever before in some ways, and confidence.  I defeated my demon, have found my inner queen, doing mental gymnastics with these growing psychic abilities.  I am losing weight and looking good physically again.  CAMH's prognosis of me can go fuck its mother... I am going to be fine.

I knew I never should have listened to those inpatient psychiatrists... I'm glad I finally decided to block any opinion they had of my mind, even on a subconscious level.

-Saraƒin

PS: Just completed the inks for the cover of my final Asylum Squad graphic novel - should have those up soon to show.

Monday, 25 November 2019

What the Akashic Records are, and how I read them...

The Akashic Records, based on my understanding of them, are a kind of "recording" of all that is.  I actually bought a book on how to read them, but have yet to crack it, because I have several books in my library that I haven't read yet - I am notorious for doing this.  What I am going to focus on in this article, moreso than what the Records are, is how I opened to them, and how the information is retrieved, because I feel that at this point I do not have the finest understanding of the Records themselves.

I have had the mechanism of channel and some visionary experiences throughout my initiation and spiritual struggles since 2006, but for the longest time, it didn't feel like I was getting anywhere with them.  The demon made it especially hard to see, and for a very long time I was "third eye blind", at its worst, and had to rely on the will to survive to figure out how to proceed.  Then something interesting happened last year, in the month of September.

Having had a lot of spirit drawings come through, I kept getting the Infinity symbol.  Not knowing what to make of the message, I tried "invoking" it with a source I work with (possibly Metatron, possibly Jesus), and it seemed to open up something.  Through that, I went on to invoke the Akashic Records, leading to a stream of information that was loosely accessible through channel, that had never been available before.  Before this time, when I had tried doing divination, I felt I was going nowhere with it, and would barely touch tarot cards.  But suddenly, some pressing messages from the Spirit began to come through... though the demon muddled them while it was still active.

So I began to practice my own technique with the cards to train in reading them, asking various questions about various things.  First, I might draw a card that would represent an archetype to describe the answer, but was too timid to channel anything... in time, this changed to a channeled message to match the card.  Later, I practiced with others, when I had more confidence, and often they would say I read things accurately, if I read something about them that I couldn't know - so I became less worried about being deceived by this.

Now, I will often read for others, though it looks like I am graduating from tarot cards completely, as things seem to be different since the prayer pipe ritual.  Tobacco offerings make the information come through stronger and finer, but I can do it without this as well, though I have room to grow and refine in that respect.

It seems I can do something with this source that others can't necessarily do, and that is read pieces of information about virtually anything, not just my own soul's journey.  I might read about the future of the planet, about a species of animal, a person from history... and it will say something.  It comes through channel via the Spirit, it is accessible at all times, I need no preparation to tune in.  I am not sure how others go about doing this, but that is my method, it seems to flow with ease.

At this point, I am still growing with intense practice, so I will be fascinated to see how far things go with this in the future.

-Saraƒin

Friday, 22 November 2019

New psychic toy!

I bought this new glass ball in a store near Kensington Market recently - I figured that glass would work just as well as crystal for the method I use with channel, so to save money I got this one instead of a pricey crystal ball.  A modestly priced item, just over $20.00 with tax, and I bought a little stand to go with it.

While I am not sure how most psychics work with crystal balls, what I am using this one for is as a tool of concentration to ground while I interpret the Spirit.  The tobacco is sprinkled over the charcoal, I pause to wait for the channel to open up, then I gaze into the orb to ground as the channel commences.  I am going to see what comes of using this method - perhaps it might help for clairvoyance as I keep practising with it.

Also pictured here is the prayer pipe I used for the ceremonial tobacco - this was, as I said before, gifted to me by my mother, many years ago, and I have finally a found proper use for it.  I think the negative "field" is almost gone now, it seems so much better since I used the pipe.  I think my mind is now in a period of adjustment from the state it was in under that field's influence, and that now it's levelling out again to even healthier levels.  I get the sense it's probably best for my mind to avoid entheogens indefinitely - time will tell, but I will stick to tobacco as the main medicine to use for healing, with prayer.  I found another place to buy tobacco that could work, should my current source stop carrying it.  This is a plant I need to stock up on for my purposes, which are channeling, prayer, and healing.

-Saraƒin

Power Animals: What they are, and what they are not...

I know, I know, I know... the idea of a white woman in Toronto calling herself a Cobra sounds a bit iffy... it's like I'm a New Age edgelord or something.  But hear me out - I know the difference between what legitimate power animals are, and what most people in the west think they are.  Let me delve into that for you:

Often western seekers experimenting with their path will come to identify with the qualities of a particular animal, one that resonates with them in a certain way.  Maybe they are drawn to the animal because they have personality traits they feel match those of the lore of the creature, they have seen them randomly here and there... or they just really like them.  There are oodles of books out there that suggest everyone has a power animal, there are Buzzfeed quizzes to "find your spirit animal"... it's kind of a western obsession in spirituality.  But this is in fact not understood very well... only real medicine people have power animals, everyone else is simply identifying with an animal's qualities as a personal symbol.  Power animals are not even common - a lot of people think they have them, but this is a myth.  So what is a legitimate medicine person, then?

A legitimate medicine person is called by the gods to become one... everyone else is a shamanic practitioner at best.  Shamanic practitioners may have some skill in some ways, but are always less powerful than medicine people who have been called.  Though it might sound arrogant of me to identify as a real medicine person, I was called by dreams, visions, and experiences that demanded that I commit to the Divine to grow - so, I identify as the real deal, because of both this and my ability to heal myself, only that I am someone who has not completed her development.  So, I don't always get everything right, and I am still a student in this.  I often assume things I have witnessed in my soul mean something specifically, where they may mean something else, or are even irrelevant.  Hence why I constantly say on this blog, bear with me, sinners... I am still trying to discover who I am.

There was a post a while back where I assumed I had 3 power animals.  Two, I now think, were more relevant than one, and only one is likely a power animal.  The Owl might have simply been a vision I saw to indicate psychic awareness opening up, I am not entirely sure yet.  Seeing as I haven't experienced this animal for a while, I am guessing it was a sign, but not a power animal.  Eagle, I think, is a guide in the Spirit, not a power animal, but there was some confusion over that.  Cobra is my real animal - this represents my soul's ability to kill, and other skills such as psychic awareness, channel, and keen intellect... I get that I am also discovering more that is to come.  It's not just something I adopted because hey - that looks neat, I want it!  It's more complex than that, and is still blossoming.  As I said, when it presented, I could feel its form inside of me, I took on its stance in posture, this happened repeatedly.  I have come to realize, due to events and also these encounters, this must be a real power animal, not just a symbol representing something else.  I am still observing how this is unfolding.

So take it or leave it... I have a power animal, and it is the Cobra.  I don't expect everyone to believe this, I know it sounds absurd considering who I am... a white girl cartoonist.  I am very self aware about that.  But medicine people can happen anywhere in the world, maybe I am meant to be one in Toronto.  Maybe Toronto was safe enough for what I was to go through, so it happened here.  Antipsychotics were needed to get through possession, and insane asylums, though not fantastic, are better here than in other nations, so maybe that is why I am who I am, where I am.  Another society might have murdered me at certain stages.

-Saraƒin


Wednesday, 20 November 2019

The aesthetics of "Asylum Squad"...

Thought I'd follow up from the post about why I chose to make comics with one about why "Asylum Squad" has the pop "manga" aesthetic I went with, instead of something perhaps a bit more serious:

The most obvious reason for this is that the aesthetic is a remnant of what little actually worked from the original prototype version that I wish didn't exist.  The idea of lunatic superheroes was something I played around with during my anime obsession days, when I was on antidepressants, not sure of who I was, exactly.  After the almighty shitstorm of what came of me, I simply couldn't follow through with the original concept, because there was a second version I was working on that basically was the original version, but amped up visually.  Something in that narrative couldn't serve as a message anymore, with what I had come to learn of the system I was in, and of the experiences in my mind.  But I still wanted to hold onto that campy, fetishistic, superhero, loony bin vibe that made the original rather fun.  But, after "The Psychosis Diaries", how was I to achieve that?  It took some writing classes and strong consideration of what the mythology of my comic's world had become, to figure out that the only way the surreal superhero kitsch thing could work was in dream sequences.  Hence, the warped Jungian drug trial, the Ajna Project, came about.

As I said before, psych wards are often romanticized... people love a good asylum flick, I have some idea of the kind of stuff that sells.  When I log onto my DeviantArt account, I notice my stuff often gets liked by a lot of insane asylum bondage connoisseurs, which I don't disprove of, as long as the conversation is respectful if they engage me about my art... I don't frown upon that kind of thing at all, I understand it well.  In fact, along with medical professionals, people in spiritual crisis, and psychiatric survivors, this is a target audience of mine.  (And, with the ending, perhaps even Roman Catholics would like it. )  Part of what I was going for with the new version was the old 70s "women in prison" exploitation vibe, it suggests an ode to smut, but is smarter than that, and of course is subtle about it.  It's "bubblegum satire".  It's revelling in the aesthetic of psychiatry as it has been presented in film, while simultaneously knocking the problems with it as a practice.  It's a great way of getting people's attention about an important message I have about the way the system is, and what we might not be getting about the mind... and, it's more fun to create it this way than something more serious.  The Ajna Project arc is also so ridiculous that it's suggesting how absurd practises and ideas in psychiatry can be, often enough.  And, because of how absurd that arc is, an over-the-top ending seemed to be required to tie things together so as to satisfy the reader enough, because of how real world and dry Liz Madder's life becomes for a while, after the Ajna Project.

It's still a bit of a wet dream of mine to see it animated... not sure if this would ever happen, but I imagine if it did, it would work better in that format than as a comic, with the right studio.  I'm still satisfied enough with what I made that I am glad it was created, even if nothing else moves forward with it.  The satisfaction of crafting a completed series means enough, in some ways, at least at this point.  I developed a bit of a cult following, so that's cool.  Sometimes I thought I'd never get it done, but in the end, I completed it, and for that I'm glad.

Now I just need to get that last book out, once I've completed the inner content, cover, and after I have saved up for the printing.

-Saraƒin


What it's like to live in an insane asylum...

Here's another sort of Mad Pride related article, to follow up on others I have made about how the year long stay panned out.  This one focuses on the tone of the experience, and the impact it has had on my life, and my self worth:

I think a lot of people (I was one myself in the past) think staying in one of these places could be kind of fun, a surreal adventure, a step away from the ordinary, something to share with others later as an odd story.  Things like the movie "Girl, Interrupted" and even my comic, in some ways, make it look like it could be strange but in some ways entertaining, possibly even enlightening.  But the truth of the matter is it is among the more soul crushing experiences one could possibly have in society.

There is a kind of bleakness to staying long term in an asylum that is hard to describe, unless you have been through it yourself.  In my experience, there was an air of hopelessness to the environment, a sadness and despair that permeates everything.  The food was terrible, so I ended up constipated, thus needing yet another medication just to defecate.  Often I just skipped meals altogether and relied on snacks because the food was so gross I couldn't bring myself to consume it.  If anyone visited me (and most people didn't want to) I would beg them for take out meals because of how vile the food was.  The rumour mill on the outside lit up about me, and people decided I was not ever necessarily going to be the same person ever again... I was probably also the butt of a few jokes here and there.  I certainly found out who my real friends were.

The impact of this place meant that, even now, 11 years later, I am still affected by having been subjected to this environment long term, I don't even feel like people see me as a relevant human being anymore.  I know this is all in my head, but I don't feel like a normal citizen sometimes... if I think too much about it, I feel like I'm just an ex-inmate, and that this is how others secretly see me, no matter what they are like with me in person.  I assume there are special files on me somewhere because of events that unfolded, and I am worried about these files, if they exist, being used against me in some manner in the future.  Although I am mostly a relatively mindful individual, the effect institutionalization had on me remains as a kind of quasi-flashback thing, and part of me has yet to fully move on, where I can leave all things I felt in the past, where they belong.  Perhaps that is why I still feel compelled to write about this kind of thing from time to time, even now.

Institutionalization has affected my art career - it's in a sense my fault for this, because of the nature of my original graphic novel, but it's as though no matter what I say to explain what my "condition" actually was about, phrases like "schizophrenic artist" will still be worked into any article about me, even now, thus making me wish to not promote myself anymore.  Any time any person refers to this time in my life again, it brings me back, and is a mild humiliation... I have to cut them off in conversation and ask that it not be discussed further.

In the asylum, I saw many humiliations of others.  These weren't morbidly fascinating to behold, like perhaps a flaming car on the side of the road, they were more like the awkwardness you feel when a dishevelled person on the subway rants and raves.  I also lived severe humiliations, and milder ones as well, such as when a male nurse wouldn't pour me a cup of hot tea, assuming that I was likely to throw it in his face, when I had never acted out on any ward in such a way before... he made that assumption based on me just being in there, not based on behaviours I had exhibited.  This tone was common, there was this kind of condescending infantilization that suggested I lacked coherence, intelligence, or even any kind of value.  Some nurses were nice, but even then, most didn't seem to recognize me as anything more than a sweet girl with a "broken brain".  And psychiatrists were impossible... their task was to drug me and convince me that I was ill, they had no therapeutic value whatsoever as doctors.

Cliques were formed as people came and went - it became almost like a weird John Hughes movie, and parts of "Asylum Squad: Monster Hospital" are based on this.  We'd sneak alcohol in and hang out in our rooms, knocking it back, finding a kind of naughty inner teenager in us, to cope with how absurd the place was, and how insulting the staff were.  When I'd get a day pass, I'd sometimes go to art openings along Queen west, mingle, grab some free wine, say something about the art as though I knew the artist who made it, and then head back to the hospital, sloshed on the alcohol, straight to bed, so no one could smell it on me.  So, it was kind of like some weird college experience in that regard, maybe that part was kind of fun when it happened... but ultimately, as they say, if you are the most popular person at the table in the mental hospital, it's still just a mental hospital.

I am now at a place where I don't even believe that brief hospital stays may be necessary with my mind... I am cautious as hell, but I also know I have made tremendous spiritual progress with my healing and development.  These places can't do me any good now... they might have been necessary for safety at the time, but they hold no redeeming value therapeutically.  I see many people romanticize asylums and mental illness... the truth is, there is nothing romantic about either one of them.  Asylums are bleak, boring, annoying, and controlling, and the one I spent my year in is still affecting me, years later, post discharge.

Hopefully, one day, psychologically, I will leave the institution fully.

-Saraƒin

Tuesday, 19 November 2019

Why I chose the comic format for "Asylum Squad"...

I have been asked about why I chose to write "Asylum Squad" as a comic.  The simplest answer is that I grew up reading comics, and had a desire to create my own series one day.  (There's a more complicated answer coming, but I'll get to that later.)

Growing up as a child, I read "Archie" (haha), "Garfield" (heh?) and stuff like that... I really enjoyed Japanese anime and manga after I discovered "Samurai Pizza Cats", and later "Sailor Moon", the latter being an obvious influence in my work, as "The Jung Ones" books demonstrate.  I would also experiment with my own comics and little animated films, which I began to create around the age of 8.  Nothing terribly high brow about some of my choices in the comic and anime world, but other more intelligent works influenced me as well later, as I got older.  I also wanted a kind of "Tank Girl" vibe in some ways with "Asylum Squad", Jamie Hewlett is sort of an influence to some degree, as is Jhonen Vasquez, but maybe only slightly.  I like Vertigo titles too, stuff by Neil Gaiman, and some Alan Moore.  I also love independent graphic novel memoirs, like "Persepolis" by Marjane Satrapi, and I had a phase where I collected a lot of mental health related comics.  I have to admit, I barely read any comics right now - I kind of feel odd doing so since I am not even sure if I will make another series ever again, but I do love and respect the medium.

I wanted to do "The Psychosis Diaries" as a kind of indy pseudo-comic project, because my mind was not in a state to be sophisticated enough for a cinematic experience on the page, so I did an experiment to use as a template as I retrained my mind to think that way.  Eventually, as I got my footing again with the process, the format of that book proved to be limiting, and so I prepared the next body of work after taking some Ty Templeton comic classes to improve on things I had already understood long before my mind went odd.  This aided the plot piece in being more cinematic, and helped me craft a plot that was functional.  Obviously, "The Psychosis Diaries" is not really a plot, it's kind of a stream of consciousness thing - both content and presentation mean I don't wish to present it as something that represents my current work at this point, but I don't disown that I created it, it feels important and it's something a lot of people enjoyed, even though I also hear people say it's a painful read to get through.

I chose the comic format over, say, the novel format, because I wanted to create pictures as much as I wanted to tell a story, so comics seemed like the best option for that.  I seem to have a knack for cinematic storytelling, something a couple of teachers have told me, including a storyboarding one at a course I took at OCAD, when I took a continuing education class in that subject.  I don't even do thumbnail sketches to prepare a page in the process - I have the script, and I plot the page as I pencil it.  Maybe this method is not super professional, but unless a page has a complex layout, I tend to just skip that part, figuring out the action in my head as I go along.  I can visualize the way the action must play out on the page, deciding on the beats needed to carry the story forward, without overdoing it.  The trick, I have learned, is to draw it in such a way that if someone didn't speak English, they could still piece together loosely what is going on in the story with the art alone.  I am not really cut out to work for Marvel or DC at my level, but I have no desire to do so anyway, and what I have going seemed to serve this as an indy piece well enough.  It's not super slick, I know that structurally the art has room to improve, but at this point, it's not dreadfully amateur anymore either.

Part of me also wanted to get into film, but because of the limits of what I could make on a budget of virtually nothing, comics is a close enough cousin that I can almost create the same experience in book format.  Storyboarding is not exactly the same in some ways, but is very close to comics, so there is a similar method involved in their creation.  If I were to work in film, I would choose storyboarding as the department I'd pursue a career in, but personally, I am so worn out I don't think I could bring myself to consider even that as a job at this point.  Animation, especially, is a cutthroat industry that sounds so toxic I can't imagine being involved in it.  No wonder so many animation studios have bars in them... animators are notorious alcoholics.

I wonder on and off if I will make another comic... it's possible, but I do need to take a break right now.  Sometimes I go to the Toronto Comic Jam and make mini comics with the others there, but I have no major plans at this point.  The idea of a comic based on my journey is a possibility for one day, but I feel the journey is still unfolding, and I want to feel in my gut that it would be right to proceed with something like that.  In the meantime, I might make a costume or painting here and there, but visual arts is not my top priority.  I will, however, keep writing, and this blog serves to present those works.

-Saraƒin

Sunday, 17 November 2019

What it's like in my mind when I channel...

Someone wanted to know what it feels like mentally when I am in channel.  The answer is rather abstract, so bear with me while I try to articulate this correctly... it's rather hard to explain if you've never experienced it yourself:

It's not exactly like a trance, because I am conscious while it is happening.  It's a slight shift in focus in the conscious, where I direct my attention to the question I am posing, allowing Spirit to answer through my body vocally, or with a pen in hand, on paper.  Then it flows automatically, like a kinetic kind of reaction, it feels rather robotic.  When it first began many years ago, it was so eerie I nearly panicked, yet due to my fascination with the spiritual, it didn't frighten me for long.  It has taken years of refinement to get far with it, and I am still growing, but it is like another means of seeing, only that I see with an unconscious means of perceiving.  I can do it at will at any point, in any place, but some tools help it to ground and/or be more clear.  The channel is not from some discarnate entity, it is of the Spirit of the Creator.

When I read the Akashic Records, I simply focus on the question, I wait to see what the records have to say to me, and the Spirit relays it to me through channel.  It's hilarious what kinds of things I can discover, it's rather like having a metaphysical Google search engine built into me.  One time, just the other day after writing my Jungian analysis article, I asked what Dr. Jung would have thought of me - the answer included that he would have observed that I have a tendency to present as unsophisticated, to play with people who think that they are more sophisticated, so that they realize that I am indeed quite sophisticated, to make them think twice about what sophistication actually is.  I laughed, not realizing until then that I unconsciously do have a tendency to do that.  So, I can read events - past, present, and future... but also hypothetic outcomes.  Again, this is something I keep trying to refine with work, so I don't claim mastery of this, only that it is shaping up to be this with practice.

I can also kind of multitask while doing this, but it will hurt the quality of the channel a bit when I do so.  Often, at work, I channel under my breath to develop it ... work shifts are an excellent time for contemplation, as well.  So, the simple answer is: the mind is still in a similar enough state to the everyday, it's just that my concentration has shifted to focus on the skill of channel, rather like how it would shift from one kind of state when doing something like a piece of art, to the kind of concentration I would require for mathematics.  It's simply another way of thinking.

-Saraƒin


New tobacco findings...

Tobacco is looking to be one of the best tools for me spiritually in several regards.  Though I am wary of using the prayer pipe too much, due to the risk of addiction again (so I will only use it for certain needs, and rarely), praying with it over a charcoal in my burner has some powerful reactions.

I am concluding at this point that my guide is Wabun (the Eagle spirit keeper of the East), who speaks to me through channel.  The channel is imperfect right now due to flaws in my aura, recovering from spiritual assault, but also because of shifting states, so I can't always read specifically every detail, or even completely accurately sometimes.  Wabun is affiliated with tobacco, and it was a beautiful vision of an eagle that came to my mind's eye when I first began smoking ceremonial tobacco with inhale, way back when.  The eagle, I suspect now, is not a power animal of mine, but a symbol representing this guide.  The cobra is my power animal, the owl was a symbol that kept popping up, and I am still seeking to understand that particular component.

I have just discovered that using tobacco leaf over the burner as an offering to Wabun while praying to have a question answered means profoundly finer results in channel, and better psychic sight.  The results are like night and day from when I just open channel, without tobacco, cards or no cards.  This means if I become a professional, I will likely require a steady supply of fine tobacco to do accurate, meaningful readings.  Kinda sucks that I can't obtain the finer stuff as easily as a First Nations person can, but there are ways around this, and I know of at least one source where it is easily purchased.  I know enough connections to elders that if it was understood how I use it, and that I actually require it, I am sure I could obtain more if this one source were to stop carrying it.

The way it works is that I utter the prayer, make the offering over the charcoal, and after the tobacco leaf turns to ash, the answer is delivered through vocal channeling.  It's pretty fascinating to feel it come through.  Thinking back, this only makes sense since the channeling began from smoking tobacco - even cigarettes did something in this regard.  But inhale, in my case, is a foolish thing to do, and the pipe isn't even needed for this specific thing, so use of the plant over a charcoal is how it should be done.

It has been the limitations of my life and the frustrations of the unknowable, both in the world around me and in worlds beyond, that drove me to seek psychic insight.  Questions I can't have answered in the conventional sense, I tune in to find the answers for, this way.  This is a compelling means of training the mind to expand.  Tobacco offerings, not entheogens, look to be the better way of working with this.

(Sorry, hippies.)

-Saraƒin

Friday, 15 November 2019

In defence of the existence of Hell and the devil...

A lot of people who criticize the church will often use the argument that it created the idea of Hell and Satan to scare Christians into behaving themselves.  While I would agree ideas of these two things have been used to do so, and that there are plenty of fucked up ideas that go with them (like that gay people go to Hell, for example), the concept of there being such a place is something that I am convinced must be true, at least in some way.  But while many see Hell as a place of punishment, I also want to add that it has been known to be a training grounds for medicine people, saints, and other gifted spiritual types, and that many cultures have some version of it.  So to dismiss the Christian versions of Hell and the devil means you must also dismiss the versions of them from all other cultures and religions, which is certainly absurd if you consider how many have some variation of them.

The Greeks had Tartarus, for example, medicine people often discuss an Underworld of sorts... and I can safely say that for many years, my life seemed heavily influenced by what literally felt like the gates of Hell opening up before me.  Everything that could possibly go wrong did go wrong, and no matter how hard I tried to fight it, I kept getting punished severely, even after I gained more control of myself.  But, as I have discussed previously in articles on suffering, it was the suffering I endured of the Underworld influencing my life that refined my character and helped me to discover my strength and true nature.  The mystics of Christianity, including St. Teresa of Avila, had experiences with Hell, but it was not to punish them, but rather, to refine them.  Even Jesus descended into Hell.  Medicine people have encounters with the Underworld to develop themselves, meet spirit guides and power animals, and to find their personal power.  Remember the classic mythos of the Hero's Journey, and it makes sense why Hell is not just to punish the wicked, but also to refine the hero.  Hell is a place of learning.  And yet, it is also not so much a place as it is a condition in the spirit.  It does not have the power to control you with the presence of the Divine.

Part of why I find the Left Hand Path "religions" so unbelievably absurd is the idea that an occultist who is committing to this decides that they desire to dedicate their souls to what amounts to the training grounds, without graduating from them.  While it is true that darkness is a fantastic kind of teacher, it is meant to be temporary, and something one takes lessons from, only to grow and work through, ultimately, to be with the Spirit.  Seeking power for its own sake does nothing to impress the gods, and any power one receives from darkness isn't even true power.  One may feel strength and some kind of "power" in youth from this stuff, but there are enough famous examples of LHP people who found that as they grew older, things got strange for them, including one of my "favourite" examples, Aleister Crowley.  And be warned - once you embark on a satanic path, if you decide to turn your life around, the darkness might fight this... it is already hard enough for someone who innocently opened an occult door, with good intentions, to overcome this as they grow in the Spirit, so imagine how much harder it is for a soul who is lost to evil forces.  One of the stupidest things a mind could possibly do to its own soul is to attempt to work with demons, devils, and things of this sort for the sake of acquiring power.  Mostly, the power acquired is peppered with illusion, and never does it serve the greater good of creation.  As I have said elsewhere, Satan attacks brilliant souls, he "rewards" fools.  So consider yourself a fool if you think Satan is your friend.  It's also laughable when a satanist says that the saints, who have their own line of merchandise, know less about the devil than they do.  <_<

More insights to come as I grow... these are some thoughts on this, based on my relations to having been affected directly by the Underworld, surviving it, and learning from it.

-Saraƒin


Jungian analysis...

Arrrgh - I got sidetracked yesterday and missed my analysis appointment!  This is the second time in 5 years of seeing my analyst that I have done this, and it's not only bad form as an analysand, but a real disappointment because I so enjoy the process... much better for my kind of psyche than conventional therapy, and more fun, too.  Here's an article on Jungian analysis, based on my years of being in it:

I have one of the funniest, quirkiest, most interesting thinkers as an analyst.  Having worked with him for the time we have, he and I have become friends from the process, although due to the law we can only be friends in his office, not outside of it.  Supportive, clever, a person who breaks the rules, he was one of the first to tell me I'm not mentally ill because of what I am going through, and acts more as a guide to help me reach conclusions and breakthroughs in therapy.  This process can't lead to powerful results in the short term... analysis takes years of commitment, and anyone who wants to be a Jungian analyst must be in analysis for 5 years or more as part of their training... a sort of healing process, one needs to understand themselves to heal others.  Also, one of course needs Jungian training, and as far as I know, a degree in something relating to the field, such as psychology or religious studies, considering how spiritual Jungian psychology can be.  I don't know everything about the process due to not investigating becoming an analyst myself, but I believe that's what I was told at one point.

While Freudian psychology emphasizes a dynamic where the analyst has the upper hand in some ways (including the use of a chaise lounge sofa, often enough), in Jungian psychology, the analyst acts as a kind of guide, sitting directly across from the analysand, both client and therapist are equals in this regard.  Freud decided man was driven by sex, Jung thought man's pursuits were higher, and had to do with relating to understanding one's Self, among other things.  So, being asexual and in a spiritual malaise as I was, it only made sense that I would prefer Jung to Freud.

I am no expert on Jung - I kind of used that lack of expertise to an advantage when I wrote "The Jung Ones" to hint that the Ajna Project didn't get what it was doing, so in a way my imperfect knowledge of Jung wasn't even a true handicap.  I did get my analyst to look over the comics as a kind of Jungian consultant, to make sure any glaring errors were corrected, and there were a couple I had to go back and fix here and there.  He bought all my comics from me, which is cool - I have never had a doctor or therapist do that before.  I still need to, of course, get the final book out, but I am taking a much needed break from art again, and am saving up money for printing.  Some suggest I do crowdfunding, but I don't want to bother, knowing it would mean giving backers books as rewards that I would need for sales at my launch.  Also, failure to make quota could be embarrassing, so screw it.  I'll just save my pennies.

I once asked my analyst about the controversy with Jung being a "nazi sympathizer" - he had a good answer to this.  It was only early when the nazis first formed that Jung saw it could be a positive, due to something he saw in them strengthening the German identity.  But after it became clear what they were actually about, he had a horrible nightmare about bloodshed over Europe, it changed his mind about the nazis, and it began a stage of his life that would later lead to him creating "The Red Book", his strangest body of work, and one that the Jung grandchildren were at first hesitant to release.  I have a copy of the reader's edition, but not the illuminated manuscript version, which is over $200.00 sometimes.  It's a challenging read, but interesting, I have to try tackling it again.

I know Jungian analysis has helped me where conventional psychiatry has failed.  Having an ear to listen to me without telling me I am sick and hopeless helped bigtime, and I like that there's almost an element of play to the approach, this makes therapy fun and creative.  I get a great rate due to my financial circumstances, thank god because analysis can be pricey.  I notice that in the long term, I have grown to get a knack for analyzing circumstances better, and see that both myself and others have had a tendency to overanalyze things, leading to anxiety and frustration.  My assumption with politics online is that a lot of disputes erupt from overanalyzing what people are about when they speak their mind, leading to unnecessary bickering.  Without the human connection of a face to face discussion, it's even worse online when it happens than in person.  There are a lot of bad armchair psychologists out there, both on the right and on the left.  Being an analysand has also helped me to understand why people act as they do, and thus be more empathetic to difficult individuals.

A good Jungian breaks it down to the bare minimum, not obsessing about every single detail... one must trim the lily in dream analysis, for example.  I have learned how to do this from my therapist.  I can easily spot a counsellor who might have work to do on themselves, based on how they respond to my discussion, and the look in their eyes as they do so.  It's almost as though they're following this by-the-book method I have seen over and over again as to what to say to a client, they do not speak from the heart.  My guy sometimes will just say "Oh, don't think that - you're full of shit... you know better than that" and tells me what he sees, his eyes full of confidence while he's doing it, and he's often right.  I prefer a blunt response that is honest and cuts through nonsense to what most counsellors peddle - clearly my analyst has healed himself, knows himself, so he is qualified to help me.  If a therapist doesn't even know who they are, how on earth can they heal their client?  That's likely a common reason therapy can fail.

-Saraƒin

Wednesday, 13 November 2019

Weird past lives that I have read for others...

So as I have discussed, I have gotten past life details about myself - I was supposedly a WW1 fighter pilot named Gary, was a military success story, retired, and became a priest.  After I retired from that, I eventually died in a boating accident with a lover at the time.  When I do run downs, usually I get certain significant or interesting details, or I tell the story of one's life.  Some people have boring lives, they maybe had a family, did some interesting job, nothing terribly out of the ordinary... conventional stuff.  But sometimes I find out fascinating things, like that that bad shrink I had was a serial rapist/murderer who was so sick he later was killed in prison by other convicts.

Here are two other examples of weird ones I found out - anonymous, I won't tell who these people are, only that they were read by me and the stories are strange:

First there was one person I read who was this bondage fanatic guy in a past life, who had a fetish for getting arrested.  After he committed some petty crime, he was taken to a jail cell, where he jerked off and proceeded to have the most glorious orgasm of his life.  This was something he did once again, later in life, but then he had a realization that the fantasy would ruin him if this pattern continued.  So he decided to find a better way to channel the kink.  He became a banker, so he could get locked in the big safe, like a prison cell, jerk off in it, clean up the mess, and get back to work.  This is by far my favourite weird past life profile.

My second favourite is someone else I read - this person was a sexy psychopathic woman who would lure bad men to her, use them, kill them, and then rape their dead bodies with random objects, before throwing the body in the river.  She got away with this, committing four murders.  Kind of like a female Dexter, black widow type.  This was among the more shocking reads.

Often qualities that people exhibit, including sexual fantasies, or the results of trauma, can carry over to the next life.  An example of this would be someone who was abused in some way in a past life coming back with masochistic desires that relate to the abuse scenario... this is the soul's way of finding pleasure from pain.  I had a fascination with flight and pilot gear because I was a pilot last time.  Things one is drawn to for no explainable reason might be explained away with previous life experience.  Not always, but often.  And sooner or later, a good person will lead a life as a bad person, and vice versa.  We all learn various lessons in order to grow as souls.

-Saraƒin

Tuesday, 12 November 2019

Another stupid meme I made...


Just another (satirical) reminder to antisemitic alt right idiot Christians of who their saviour was!  Enjoy the meme, sinners... and mean it when you take Him into your heart!  xD

-Saraƒin

Monday, 11 November 2019

Prayer pipe update...

Things are moving ahead a bit... I think the prayer pipe ritual was what I needed.  The strange narrative my mind seemed to follow has dissipated, and it looks as though the "field" is on its way out, its influence not as strong an effect on my mind.  It's rather hilarious that after years of idiot white coats telling me I needed mind disabling drugs for the rest of my life, that it came down to just uttering prayers while puffing away on a pipe, to change the direction of my mental health.  I am still not 100% free of some mild phenomena but there is definitely a difference.  The white man has a lot to learn about altered states of consciousness, and how to work with them.

Another new symbol has been emerging from spirit drawing - the sacred spiral of the Goddess with a sword piercing it.  I interpret this as something to do with the Virgin Mary and the Goddess at work, the sword being symbolic of the Immaculate Heart ... perhaps a prayer has been answered, and this is a sign of that.

I seem to be graduating from using tarot cards when I do psychic readings, since using the prayer pipe to end the initiatory vision quest.  I will still shuffle through them as a means of concentration, but no card is pulled in the process to deliver the reading, the reading comes without them.  So perhaps I shall purchase a crystal ball as an object to focus on instead, if the cards are something I am not going to work with as much anymore.  You can get a decently priced one in Chinatown at one store I know about, that might be a good tool to have instead.

BTW - another note about that "field": I had some false assumptions about it, like it was the "remains" of the energy body of the demon.  I now trust the demon is completely gone, and this is just something it did to my aura that I am healing from.  Perhaps it is the cause of some strange chest issues I have had, the odd breathing patterns, and my weakened thyroid, too.  Considering all sorts of things can go wrong with auras from spiritual abuse, it makes sense that something like this could be a problem after being possessed for over a decade - even drugs can muck up your energy body, so I imagine an entity could do it, too.

What a relief that I figured out how to move beyond this stage in my life, I am pretty sure this is it.  There's still a tiny bit of mental anxiety and I need to confirm this again as I am more confident (it's been less than a week since the prayers were uttered with the pipe) but I think I cured myself recently.  Looks like coming off antipsychotics is now a very real possibility.

-Saraƒin

Sunday, 10 November 2019

More reasons to identify as a "nun"...

So it's clear to me the nun thing is now more of a persona, or an achetypal identity, than a vocation for me.  Beguine, as I said before, would be closer to what I truly am, and yet I still jokingly get called "Sister Saraƒin" by many at this point, not just because of my costume habits, but my tone and demeanour sometimes, too, and my devotion and love of God.  It's rather obsessive, as un-mainstream and alternative as it is, as "shamanic" as how some of it presents.  But Catholic "shamans" do exist, and if the church wasn't the way it is, there might even be Catholic "shaman" nun orders.  (Maybe there are, but I have never heard of any.)  The fetish nun thing is because I am a clown, and I like to be playful about virtually everything I do.  I also have fun drawing kinky art, but I'm not sexual about it.

As I have mentioned before, and as it is very clear in my work, the world has often been cruel to me, not just the world of systems like psychiatry, but also the world of men and relationships.  But I should also add that the world of woman has not been the nicest at times either - some women have been territorial with me, oppressive, jealous, and downright mean.  While men have sexualized and abused me, women have controlled and treated me as an outcast.  I now have a special relationship with men where I relate slightly better to the guys than to most women as friends, but it can't go beyond that, because that possibility has been taken from me.  It seems that I was never meant to find this kind of love, my love is different because it is based on a kind of special friendship that men take for granted, or they sexualize it, or assume it gives them a segue to do as they please with me, among other things.  I have shut romance down, no man is likely to be compatible with me.  Asexual men do exist, but I fancy no one now, it is too dangerous to, and love has hurt me so badly I wish to distance myself from romance of any sort at this point.

The nun is a power symbol to me, because she also represents rising above this so-called "need" humanity has to be partnered with someone.  She is the ultimate chaste woman, and I admire that power.  This world is so sexual, it's refreshing to me to see a sister in her habit, renouncing all of that, with the power and commitment to do so.  Her power means that most men wouldn't even try to break that celibacy, it would be criminal to even flirt with her.  So, in some ways, more than a spiritual symbol, the nun is a symbol of my reclaimed power as a single woman, committed until death to be alone, committed only to the Spirit.

Sometimes I do readings about the saints, to find out details about what they were really like as people - it was funny when I got to dear St. Anthony.  The reading suggested that if I had known this saint in life, he was such an adorable, endearing, sweet man that I would have fallen in love with him, but being a monk, he wouldn't have been able to talk to me, and it would have broken my heart. (Even though, let's face it - I wouldn't have tried anything anyway!)

-Saraƒin

PS: Something funny happened yesterday as I was headed to work - some CAMH street reps stopped me for donations.  I quickly shut them down, saying I would never give money to CAMH, because they tortured me.  Oh man, the look on the guy's face... priceless.

Wednesday, 6 November 2019

Prayer pipe rituals...

The prayer pipe (not the peace pipe, as it has mistakenly been called) is a ritual I have done in native circles only a couple of times, and I guess is the way most honkeys assume tobacco is used in indigenous societies.  Though I can't speak about all the ins and outs of this practice, I want to talk a little bit about my experiences with it:

The first time I shared the prayer pipe was at a circle I attended in Vancouver, back in 2006.  Stupidly though, I inhaled the smoke at the time, as I was a smoker.  I wonder if the ritual had any hand in the start of my initiation, for it was after that trip that I returned to Toronto to find myself deeply involved in a transformation.  I am channeling that tobacco can open doors for some who use it ritualistically, and if this was to be a necessary part of my life, it may have aided in the beginnings of my initiation.

The second time that I recall passing the prayer pipe was when I was deeply spiritually ill, and a family friend and medicine man agreed to meet with me for healing.  Passing the pipe, it was mostly a discussion of the pain I was feeling - as the medicine man instructed me to "be patient" with my healing, I eyed a little snail crawling across the ground, a reminder of what he was saying.  Shortly after this meeting, I was able to invoke St. Jude with prayer, while in hospital.

My mother, who once worked in a prestigious native gallery, gave me a personal prayer pipe she had purchased from her place of employment.  Being a smoker at the time, and not one to consider things a little better, I think I may have used it a couple of times for recreational purposes - rather disrespectful I suppose, but ultimately not harmful, other than recreational smoking not being good for one's body.  The pipe was something I held onto as an artifact, it's a beautiful piece - a soap stone bowl with a detachable wooden shaft, and some strings of doeskin leather hanging from it.

In channel, just the other day, I got the sense tobacco was once again something I should turn to for prayer for help with my healing, but instead of using the method of sprinkling it over fire (a perfectly valid method of using it, according to the indigenous people in my community) I was to use the pipe, and take it into my mouth while praying - just not inhaling it this time.  Cautious about the nicotine becoming something I could develop as an addiction again, this is to be done ceremonially, only when necessary or for special occasions.

It's quite possible I have been stuck in a "shamanic initiatory vision quest" for 13 years, that I couldn't shut down with Christian sources, because half of my spirituality is more "shamanic", for lack of a better term.  The Eagle was a vision I kept receiving, calling itself the Spirit, and though I have associated this with the Father in Christianity, there is an eagle spirit keeper god in medicine wheel spirituality that is affiliated with tobacco called Wabun, so perhaps that is the god I have been dealing with for the more "shamanic" side of my spirituality.  Some of the prayers I uttered were that the circle close on my initiatory vision quest, that I be healed, that I develop as a visionary, among others.  Already there is a change in my energy levels, I feel like something is shifting.  When tobacco is used properly, it is very powerful and healing, and I seem to react strongly to it.  I am just a bit nervous of hitting the pipe too often, being the former smoker that I am, 11 years free.

I'll have to make an update on how this unfolds, but I wanted to post about this recent development - I might have figured out why my subconscious has been so wonky, why psychic ability has been on and off, why I may come across as peculiar and why I still require some medication.  It's an initiation of some kind that I hadn't figured out how to shut down yet.

13 and a half years of this - man.

-Saraƒin

Friday, 1 November 2019

Akashic readings about sacred sites...

One of the things I like to play with when I read the Akashic records, to see what I can achieve with them, is hidden knowledge on various subjects.  Recently, I read about various sacred locations in the world, and found out interesting, and often eerie, pieces of information.  Here's some of them:

Sedona, Arizona: I have been here twice, both times I felt great peace at the Church of the Holy Cross vortex site.  It was blissful for me, others have claimed other experiences.  When I read on this part of the world, it stated that a divinity resides there, and that it is wise to respect the land by not taking from it, if one does not wish to be affected by this.  People who respect Sedona often feel amazing things, others can be troubled by it.  I read that what I was feeling was the local divinity saying hello to my soul.

Stonehenge: Reading on this, Stonehenge is not interpreted very well by modern man.  Something came through about it being relevant to celebration and some kind of portal.  Stonehenge is another site I have visited, and when I did it was closed off from direct contact with the tourists, thanks to idiots defacing it overtime.  I read that, again, something sacred lives there, and people have been badly affected for not respecting the land.

Easter Island: One of the Moai heads has a spirit associated with it that will speak to incredibly negative people if they come close to it, they can see what a person is about.  Apparently, it only does this with truly awful people.  Bad people have been cursed with madness.

The Pyramids of Giza: There are gods that watch over the area that are affiliated with this site.  Curses have been known to happen, and I read that one particularly awful person affiliated with the destruction of this planet who visited them is cursed to one day commit suicide, to be confronted by the god who cursed him.  So if you are awful, stay away from sites like this... or perhaps go, and rid the planet of yourself in a strange way, so we can be free of your influence!

Machu Picchu:  This reading disturbed me the most, because my father went there, and his health quickly began to deteriorate after he came back in many ways.  Something dark lives in Machu Picchu that hates the tourist industry, and often harms people who go there.  My Dad, a good man, was rather quirky, and might have said or done something to provoke a reaction, if he was indeed affected by this, which I now worry he was, because it's as though many parts of his body suddenly developed problems.  No one should go to Machu Picchu - it's disrespectful because of the tourist trade.  If you do go, treat it with profound respect, I suppose.

The Mesoamerican Pyramids: Another site probably best avoided if you can't respect it correctly.  People have died after visiting these sites.  The tourist trade has created strange spiritual problems for people, and they don't even know about it, or see it as superstition.  I am thinking that if I go to any sacred site like this, I must study as much as I can, and read psychically about it, to know how to approach with the right level of respect.

That's it for now - it's sad how modern man has forgotten about the gods, in many ways, and that those who remember may not know how to approach them properly.  Among the saddest parts of our century is that we have forgotten about how to take care of our souls, things are more about acquiring the material and productivity than anything else, we have lost track of how to be human in some ways.  But I suspect this will turn again in time, what we have is wearing out, and can't possibly last, going in this direction.  It might be a strain on the mind to witness this collapse, but that's just how Spirit presents right now.

-Saraƒin