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.


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:


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.)


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.


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.


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 vaporwave Jesus meme, sinners... and mean it when you take Him into your heart!  xD


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.


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.