Thursday, 31 December 2020

Farewell, 2020: Reflections on my year...

Goodbye, 2020!  To be fair, this year was actually quite positive for me - other than the hospitalization in January and the assault in October, I came into a bit of a nest egg, and got lots of healing done.  Also, the last comic was finally released, I have learned far greater patience with downtime, and am feeling less lonely about being alone.  I am a bit of a sicko because I kind of like the pandemic world in a way - not in how it has harmed, but in how it's shaping the world into a place where we can't quite go back to what we were doing, which wasn't working either... this is bound to usher in eventual change, hopefully for the better.  I remain optimistic, even when numbers rise.

Tonight, our rosary coven is having a mini Zoom party to send off this crazy year - I'm sure that's going to be the standard, a NYE Zoom party, at least for those who play it safe.  I wonder how much better 2021 could be... one premonition I had is that 2020 might be seen as the "dress rehearsal for 2021", so watch out!  Not sure how accurate that is.  I was wrong about the presidential election... I thought Trump would win.  Phew.  (Premonitions of mine are more accurate if they just come to me - when I call for them, they can often provide nonsense.  I have to continually refine, of course.)

I have decided to open up the comments option on here, at least for a while.  My concern has been about fundamentalists wanting to criticize me because of my alternative spirituality, I also find that the internet is growing increasingly hateful and strange, so I wanted to avoid any unwanted vitriol, if it was coming.  But now I'm curious.  This site doesn't get a lot of traffic most of the time, but let's see what the sinners have to say, if they care to.

Happy New Year, sinners!  May you find great peace in these End Times!

ABBA - "Happy New Year"

-Saraƒin

Monday, 28 December 2020

Character dignity in "Asylum Squad"...

I thought to do another article about choices I made for "Asylum Squad".  This one is about how I wanted to go about treating my characters with dignity - something I felt was important for a large contingent of my audience, which was the psychiatric and consumer survivors crowd.  Here are some of the things I did to maintain that:

Back in "The Psychosis Diaries", there is a rape scene, which is based on a real life event.  Rapes are hard to get right without being exploitative - they are often used as a trope for shock value in fiction.  I didn't want this scene to be for shock, but rather, as something that would throw conflict into the character's life, in how it was falling apart, and also to discuss something that actually happened (although certain details were changed).  The only way to tastefully pull this off, I felt, was to make sure that it was implied, but not shown in any overt way.  I am not sure how my comic would rate as far as what age it is appropriate for, but if I were going to suggest a target crowd, I would recommend the fresh outta high school young adult crowd, because there is some adult stuff in there, even though it's not exactly erotic.  I think enough teens in high school would be fine reading it, I'm just not sure what their parents would think if they did.

In a similar vein, when characters were restrained in the hospital in the main plot, some degree of censorship was involved, at least when Sarah gets it.  Because she is vulnerable at the time, I felt it important to incorporate a sense of helplessness at the hands of the orderlies, from her perspective, while not showing what was happening to her.  This gives the character dignity, but it also made it a frightening scene.  

When Cath gets restrained, it's a bit more provocative, but only because she is teasing the orderlies, and in a way this was a fan service scene designed to tease anyone who reads the comics simply for the asylum bondage overtones (tsk tsk tsk).  Because I didn't want to carry it through too far, I decided she should go on to puke all over herself because of the combo of meds and alcohol, destroying the kinky tension, making it more of a humorous scene, in the end, than anything else.  (As mentioned before, the aesthetic of the comics flirts with that kind of erotic asylum art, but it's not just to grab reader attention in general - it's also to draw a specific crowd that might otherwise fall for this sort of romantic nonsense.  Having lived this life for a year as an inmate, I can say that it's absolute horror, so when I see asylum romance done badly in fiction, it's truly eye rolling, but I also believe it can be dangerous.)

A comic that ultimately has an activist's message, a relevant thing or two to say about the soul, and that ended up getting a following in academia needed a certain quality in its tone to get away with what it does in its strange whimsy.  When Liz goes back to St. Dymphna's in "In Solidarity", it was as though it was strictly business, nothing like the sassy "Girl, Interrupted" stuff in Act 1.  I wanted it to be as though she was ultimately moving on, so her stay for that time was short lived, and just about a "tune up".  Because that's life for psychiatric survivors, often enough - we may go through the crazy oppressive crap that gets overdramatized in film here and there... but usually, it's just lectures from doctors about taking pills, and figuring out what our next move is, once we get out again.

-Saraƒin

A new mind...

I have concluded that I must indeed be healing in a major way as of late, and that several things have led to this.  One was my visitation to the Marian shrine, another was likely working with the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram, and of course regular use of CBD.  But yet another had to be when I followed bibliomancy, which directed my hand to Philemon in the New Testament, which led to me asking to become a "prisoner of Christ".  What I meant by this request is that He take full command of what happens to me.  (This is not to say, in my case, that I now ignore other gods, only that Jesus be the god that steers the direction of what comes of my life.  I see no reason why many gods can't amount to harmonious spirituality, it works in many paths.  One way of describing my practice could be Christo-Pagan with Dharmic leanings.)

Since that time, weeks ago, sleep has been better, worries less, neurological pain has lessened immensely.  I had also prayed to Metatron for a "new mind".  I had been trying to heal the old mind, and then figured that perhaps I should treat it more like a phoenix, and rise from the ashes of what the old mind became.  There is a state coming over me of ease, calm, and gentleness, one I don't think I have ever felt before.  As mentioned in a previous post, the Solstice was a power day, and I really got that a change was taking hold.  The Jupiter-Saturn conjunction represented the death of the old king, and the birth of the new king's reign, so perhaps in my case that related to the mind.  There were a lot of spirits around me on that day, it was like an otherworldly party.

I wonder if, for some minds that are too far gone not to go off antipsychotics (too far gone in the opinions of certain doctors, anyway), if the idea of growing a new mind could be considered in therapy.  I would argue that some form of spiritual practice would be needed in part to achieve such a thing, but perhaps it's a realistic answer for other, more common types of psychological pain.  Treatment would require surrendering the will to the self, for one thing, however that is done with the patient.  Jung, though not perfect, had powerful ideas, many of which have been expanded upon since his time.  I wish psychology played a bigger role in conventional treatment - the golden age of psychoanalysis, also not perfect, at least spoke of a talking cure.

Speaking of analysis, I haven't had much of that in this year.  I guess I really am getting better, because normally I see my Jungian once every 2 weeks.  Because of the pandemic, I only do phone sessions with him now and again.  It's just not the same as with in person therapy.  We tried Zoom but it was lagging too much for treatment, between our computers.  He thinks I am coping well with the world as it is when we talk.  Honestly, with my inner world being at the core of my thoughts, I don't give what's going on out there as much thought as some do, or at least as much worry.  I keep up with news I need to be aware of, I wear a face mask, I wash my hands and avoid crowds, I will get vaccinated when it's available to the masses, I do what any reasonable person should do with this situation, but I don't feel that being too involved with news media will do my mind much help, with what I am hoping to achieve.  I have gotten some art done, as I have presented on this blog, so the muse has been stirring again a bit, at least.  (God also wants me to obsess a bit less about healing and the soul - I got the message that things will now mostly play out as they need to, as they should.)

-Saraƒin

Friday, 25 December 2020

"The Elements"...

I got a second painting done on Christmas Eve, so I am posting a (crude) snapshot of it today.  This one is based on that experimental east vs. west altar I designed, which incorporates Chinese metaphysics with western metaphysics.  I went with the affiliated planetary symbols of the 5 elements of Chinese metaphysics, and added Air and Spirit, using symbols associated with those two elements, symbols often seen in practises like Wicca.  I added the Halaliel sigil too, in case I want to use this painting for scrying, as a tool of study - I use that sigil as a power symbol, putting it on certain things.

I guess the lines in the background (which were an attempt at trying an almost Eastern style cloud design) suggest anxiety, but things are vibrant here and there is order to what is in the foreground.  I made this piece, as I mentioned, for scrying, so I want to see what comes of studying it while I contemplate what I have designed.  Acrylics on canvas, with black and gold pen, aluminum tape.

Had a family Zoom this morning for Christmas - so strange not to be with the rellies elsewhere.  Not the worst time for me, though - I have felt massive relief for weeks, it might have even started since that banishing ritual.  Things have just lined up and my health feels much better.  I am more hopeful about getting off of antipsychotics in the future, I don't even feel like I have neurological damage now, so perhaps is was neurological sensitivity and anxiety that made it feel like something was truly much worse.  It's a mystery, but at least I feel quite good as of late.  I had done more prayer work with Christ too, so that's probably also paying off.  The Solstice was definitely a power day, and I felt the presence of many spirits.

Better get out of my kigurumi and figure out the rest of my day!  Merry Christmas - hope all can keep well, despite the 'rona and lockdown!

-Saraƒin

UPDATE: Touched this up this morning with some gold pen around the elements - makes it pop a bit better.  Might later post an update pic.



Thursday, 24 December 2020

"Halaliel 1"...

(It would really help if I had a decent camera, and if I knew the first thing about photography, wouldn't it?!)

Here's a painting I did last night that I am calling "Halaliel 1", which might be the beginning of a series where I allow the subconscious to take over and do at least a part of the piece.  That's again a sigil I channeled, that I had read is affiliated with mystery angel Halaliel, whom I later read was an angel of karma that Edgar Cayce channeled in one of his sessions.  Not sure how relevant the sigil truly is, but I liked the design enough to take note of it, and did this painting to incorporate it, at least as an art piece.  (I might do other Halaliel paintings, using this sigil, this one was an early experiment.)

I guess the chaos in this painting suggests a subconscious that is still in pain, but the symbols themselves are positive ones, mostly about Christ, Mary, the kundalini, and other hopeful things, so I want to say it indicates transition to wellness, not illness.  There are some dark symbols in it, objects affiliated with asylums, but I feel like they evoke leaving these things behind, rather than continuing to suffer from them.  I built up the colours in the background before letting it dry and them applying the inks with a black marker.  Acrylics on canvas, with gold and black pen applied.  (A friend says it has Keith Haring vibes, I can see that.  I also see the slightest hint of Jackson Pollock, when it comes to the colours in the background.)

-Saraƒin

Monday, 21 December 2020

Changes + Winter Solstice...

I'm not sure if it's because of it being the winter solstice, or even the Jupiter and Saturn conjunction, but today was quite a power day for me, since it felt like a shift happened in my psyche, as a more relaxed state came over me.  I cast a spell for a friend to usher greater success and prosperity into his life, and several hours later I began to feel shifts, very positive ones.  If this feeling lasts, then I know something has indeed changed.  I am very relaxed right now, calm and serene.  Nothing in the world perturbs me at this time, even though I can still empathize with the pain others feel, but not to the point where I take on the burden (something I have struggled with, as many of us do).   Some might call it privilege, I call it learning from other forms of pain I have endured, and adapting my consciousness to process suffering in a more constructive manner.

Looks like we're in for a boring winter.  Normally, Christmas is what can get people through the bleakness of how dark the winter is up north, but with COVID-19 affecting everything, many aren't celebrating beyond their households.  I would normally be out of town by now, joining my mother and stepfather, but we decided to delay a visit until numbers go down again.  The weather hasn't been terribly unpleasant, but the clamminess of the constant wearing of a face mask reminds me of wet panties wrapped around my face.  Now, just try not to remember that imagery the next time you step out for groceries with one of those things on - I bet you will think of my words, whether you like it or not.  (I was joking with friends that someone in Japan could start a relief fund by selling surgical masks in vending machines that have been worn between a woman's legs for several days - yes it's nasty, but it would sell, and we need reliable charities moreso than ever in these trying times, where many have been marginalized because of the effects of lockdowns.)

Christmas isn't really even a big deal to me.  Certainly I loved it as a kid, my folks had enough to get me some interesting toys (mostly art supplies, because that was the kind of kid I was).  But commercialism has ruined it for me as an adult, and the only thing I truly enjoy is the company of family and friends, if all goes well with the rellies.  One year, I saved up and bought my mother an authentic Inuit sculpture of a dancing bear, which caused her to burst into tears, moved that I would do so - that was also pretty special.  But I am not obsessed with getting lots of presents, nor do I have tons of money to buy a lot for others, so if people get a gift from me at all, usually it's something like a bottle of wine.  The big holiday for me, like so many other freaky kids, is Hallowe'en, and COVID-19 fucked up that one too.

We're going to have a NYE Zoom party, some friends and I.  I am enjoying the downtime of being off work again.  I feel that as long as my health stays in check, and finances are stable, I will be ok.  I am glad I got that comic book out, finally.  Hopefully those who purchased a copy have enjoyed it!  :)

-Saraƒin

Tuesday, 15 December 2020

Cute dating ad + Caversham new book restock update...


Whoever came up with this ad deserves a massive promotion - very funny!

Caversham now has 10 new copies of "In Solidarity", these without the weird marginal errors.  I signed all the copies.  (The other 5 had already sold out.)  Keep in mind this means the price will be slightly higher again, at $20 + tax.

I almost went up a notch on my meds, but realized I was just in my head too much, overthinking things.  The next day, I was fine again, less anxiety.  I guess that's how social distancing has gotten to me, because I don't mind the downtime too much.  I just miss things like going out to socialize here and there as a distraction.  Even (mostly) introverted people like myself need to get out and have some fun.  Thank God for my spirituality or I wouldn't be coping well at all.  I talked to my new MD (who has replaced my old one) and he's agreed to help me talk to someone who could make an ASD diagnosis, if there is one to be made.  I took an online test and it said I am at the high end of a moderate risk of having it.  I don't trust these tests much at all, but it's interesting it would say that, because with other tests I tried online it suggested I didn't have it at all.  If I have ASD, it's a light case of it that probably creates a difference in me, and might even mean a sensitivity that makes me more receptive to the spirit world.  Many psychics/mediums/shamans have had a touch of autism.

-Saraƒin

Friday, 11 December 2020

Flawless comics are here!

I just picked up the remainder of the run today - the rest are without awkward errors.  Caversham shall receive these books soon (probably - I have to call them first) to have in stock, the faulty copies might be back up books, I will have to see what they have to say.

Tonight I reread the whole series, cover to cover, for the first time since all volumes came to print.  I like how the story flows.  I see how rather dry, sad, and dreary "In Solidarity" is as a book, compared to former volumes, but that was rather intentional.  It's sobering, evoking the spirit of what is really going on, after the pure fantasy of the act that came before it.  It had to go in this direction for a while, I feel, to come back to Liz's harsh reality, and then some of the playfulness of the odd tone returns with the epilogue, but in a new way.  Just as "The Psychosis Diaries" was designed to bombard the reader with the experience of psychotic states through its bizarre, wordy narrative, this book captures the misery of post institutional life.  I am sure it will have its haters, but this comic is still an activist one, and I couldn't forget the spirit of Mad Pride without touching on what many survivors feel once they leave the mental hospital, if they end up in shoddy supportive housing.  "The Jung Ones" was fruity lunacy, which was suggestive that the Ajna Project itself is not to be taken seriously, while "Monster Hospital" was slightly like a John Hughes flick, with its "The Breakfast Club" overtones.  I also want to note that "The Jung Ones" was a book about false empowerment (in the Ajna Project), while "In Solidarity" was a book about real empowerment, when the Squad takes back their lives with Mad Pride.  I have a quirky writing style, but I give myself a pass, writing about a subject such as this.

Some things might have been added to emphasize the saintly outcome of Liz's life, if I had only found my ending sooner to incorporate them.  Maybe she'd find sanctuary in a local church on a bad day... maybe this volume would have included a touch more Catholic imagery, just as previous volumes had.  But I was late to figure it out - when I began "In Solidarity" I still had the original ending in mind, as much as I was sure it might not be the finest.  I guess this gives the comic some complications as a strong plot, but again, I am not a professional writer, I made this out of the love of doing so.

The Beguiling will be taking on this book as well, once they work with consignment again, something they aren't really considering with how shopping is under current COVID-19 restrictions.  I am not looking at any other stores just yet, in this city, until shopping restrictions are lifted.  Damn this pandemic - it killed my chance at having a final book launch!

-Saraƒin

Monday, 7 December 2020

Autism...

Yesterday I had an insight in contemplation and channel that took me by surprise.  It suggested that I have a mild case of autism, something that is apparently mild enough that I didn't even recognize it in myself, but the more that I think of it, it makes sense it's probably there.  (I am saying autism rather than Asperger's because there is controversy with the Asperger's label, and now the diagnosis is considered Autism Spectrum Disorder, since the DSM 5 came out, not that I truly give a shit about the DSM or what it has to say.)

Though there were years where I was awkward, or perhaps acted out a lot, I chalked it up to being "nerd girl" stuff, a sensitive kid who didn't fit in because I sucked at sports and preferred to be off alone, reading a book.  But there were other traits there too - my mother said that when I was a baby, I couldn't make eye contact, and would squirm if I was held for too long.  (She has mused in the past about me being autistic, but I was never diagnosed, because I wasn't so out of control that I needed a childhood shrink).  I would do peculiar stuff like collect coloured pencil leads and keep them in a plastic case, demand low lighting, obsess over traffic lights and junction boxes, and in general be the kind of delightful little nerd who would fit right in as a guest on an episode of SNL's "Sprockets".  Mom and Dad thought of it more as the peculiarities of an artist, but I did have trouble making friends, and my first close friend wasn't until junior high.  (Apparently, I spoke somewhat monotone until a certain age, and then I got a bit more expressive in speech.)

There are things that make sense now.  Bondage is not exactly interesting to me sexually, but confinement is a comfort, and so are restraints - I like restrictive clothing, weighted blankets, things like that, because of security, not anything truly kinky.  I used to lie under the crash mat in gym class and get the other kids to jump on it because it felt nice to be sandwiched and compressed.  I can put on the facade of a proud, confident woman and navigate the world with a strong sense of self, but when I get home I retreat to my room and go into my head and explore the mind.  I still smack myself around a bit, which I need to learn to stop doing, but at least I don't cut myself anymore.  I am in control of my emotions but will need to go off to be with myself to talk through things, I hide any oddness from society.  There is still something peculiar about me, but I do a kind of "owning it" thing, where I have taken awkward qualities, polished them, and presented something much more attractive, in the end.  I liken my presentation to the hem of a garment - one side, the side you see, is pristine stitching, the other side is frayed threads that nobody sees.  But I also feel these threads can be trimmed with my spirituality, and cleaned up.  Any qualities that were truly awkward or difficult about me in the past have been unlearned, and now that I am seeing this might be a real trait that I have, I can concentrate on my spiritual work to refine anything else that needs adjustment.  One thing that is definitely not autistic about me is that I am even finer than the average person at picking up on subtle queues, I have many friends, and I am excellent at character analysis - I guess that's why I thought I can't be autistic.  But there is enough there that suggests that perhaps I have some variant of it.  I don't do well with romance at all, finding dating daunting, and I suffer heartache harder than anyone else.  I don't marry well with modern living in some ways, preferring not to be too ambitious in the work force, finding classroom learning impossible to tolerate, and yet with things like COVID-19 upon us, I cope better than most, taking comfort in the fact that I see the world for what it is - illusion.

I'm using a picture of Sir Anthony Hopkins here because he's an autistic spectrum person who was diagnosed later in life, and yet is so brilliant at hiding it because he's a remarkable actor.  I am actually a finer conversationalist than most in social settings, I can be the life of the party, I will use charm and wit to show a person what they want to see to win them over, so that nothing gets awkward in conversation.  But if a chat goes bad on my account, I secretly punish myself for it later.  I have learned to exude great charisma in person, but I am still painfully camera shy on video.  I am in some ways like Luna Lovegood from Harry Potter, but with a sly persona like the Cheshire Cat.

I talked to my mother about this today, and she thinks I am onto something, so I texted my analyst and hope to converse with him as well.  If I have mild autism, doctors should know about this, so that my treatment can be framed differently.  I reject the schizoaffective disorder label completely, my "psychotic" problems were spiritual in nature, but perhaps if autism is a factor, it made things that much more challenging.  I will likely explore this again on here, depending on what happens.

And now, for a song I wish I knew about at age 3:

Monty Python - "I Like Traffic Lights"


-Saraƒin

Tuesday, 1 December 2020

Banishing...

Something really interesting happened yesterday after I got the sense to give a variation of the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram a shot.

First, I was trying to learn the more complex version with Kabbalistic Hebrew utterances, which I suppose is Golden Dawn (?), but it was too much of a song and dance to perform intuitively without practising it again and again and again.  (I get the sense magick works much better when it is second nature.)  So, I found a simpler alternative on a YouTube channel, and called for Sekhmet, using tobacco, to work with me using it.  The intention was to banish any lingering magickal influences that may have been from old intentions, dating back to perhaps 2006, believe it or not.  Finally finding good use of my athame, I drew the pentagrams of the four cardinal directions and commanded the intention, and then my body began to shake, rather like a kundalini reaction.

As I sat and observed the reaction, I felt "sexy" feelings in my chest area, like a glow of heat and cooling, something in the chakras.  Opening to channel (which of course I am still working to refine) I got messages about magickal complications coming out of an enlightenment spell I cast back in 2006, which led to my kundalini getting stuck, making me sick.  I have primed higher chakras with intentions to Jesus, Mary, Metatron, Krishna, and others, but without being able to overcome the complication, there was still a kind of block.  It's possible I have just overcome that.  (I still believe the demon thing was real - that was a separate issue, and I resolved that in recent years.  Sin might have still been lingering too, but it seems a byproduct of unresolved magick was something else to consider.  I also surrendered that old enlightenment intention to Sekhmet, asking Her to work with it, shaping it to be something finer, now that She is in my life.)

Today I woke with a calm mind and less neurosis.  Above, you'll see a picture of my new Sekhmet shrine, which I made yesterday because of a cubby bookshelf I discovered in the hall of my building - someone was throwing it out.  I wasn't certain that my practice could include this athame that I had impulse purchased many years ago, but it looks like I now have a regular practice of banishing after ritual upon me.  I feel like I should have known better, but again, I was launched into this with very little religious knowledge - when I turned to others for help, they turned away from me, and I was on my own.  I guess the Self is my teacher, and I am finding new methods from old knowledge, bending the rules, and magickal fundamentals need to be understood as I heal.  I shall banish after every ritual now.  Folly is also a good teacher... it welcomes in great lessons.

-Saraƒin