Wednesday, 31 August 2022

Watching myself with alcohol, and other things...

As I explore magickal techniques I am using and how they work for me, I am finding I don't need to consume nearly as much alcohol as I thought to create a reaction.  So, out of concern for my liver, spells from this point on will be limited to the equivalent of one shot of whiskey, or one glass of wine, if it's with friends.  I don't feel a psychological obsession with alcohol - I don't even find getting drunk to be possible anymore, at least not in the way it once was.  But I do like the taste so I have to watch myself.  I am now doubling down on being cautious with quantity.

Marijuana continues to be regular medicine, and has really helped with mental health and calm.  I feel like I turned a corner in everyday functioning since I began with THC again.  It seems like Shiva was what was needed in my spiritual circle to solve the problem where I couldn't enjoy it anymore.  But this is not so much about recreational use - I have a goal in mind for healing, and I plan on at least reducing the smoking once I reach it, and psychology looks better and better all the time.

This was a kind of a funny download: so, I am one of those ear freaks who can't stop massaging the insides of my ears with q-tips, scrapers, or anything else I can get in there to dig around.  It's orgasmic in my case, not the case for everyone, and I always wonder why this is true in some but not all.  (My Dad was the same way about ear cleaning - it runs on his side of the family. lol)  A download suggested it's not so much about an itchy, dry ear begging to be scratched and the relief that follows, but a brain that demands it, for something about the nerves means that stimulating the insides of the ears gives the brain a kind of a "massage" and can even help with brain health.  Not sure if anyone in medical sciences has ever speculated about this, but that's what I got!  Makes sense if dopamine is linked to pleasure - it's extreme pleasure in my case so maybe the dopamine is delighting the brain from it, creating a reaction?  Not sure, but I feel less guilty about hitting the q-tip box all the time now!

I decided to once again investigate regularly wearing head coverings, after I slipped on a bandanna as an experiment for the day and found it calmed my channeling and made it easier to focus.  It was an idea I had mused about on here before but I found it grew cumbersome with hats, but a bandanna isn't like that, so I bought a few of those... also, they keep my hair back.  ;)

As the summer winds down, I'd say it was slow and uneventful yet productive and pleasant.  I do like the fall but the end of summer can be a bit hard for me, because I love being the perpetual kid at the lake on a cottage trip, away from school, having a good time, which is what the summer evokes in me.  (Winter is definitely not my favourite.)

Yesterday, it hit me that when I made "Asylum Squad", I had written an allegory for how fucked western civilization is.  I really need to get on putting together that omnibus, BTW - I have a friend who is going to help me with it, we just haven't gotten to it yet.  Please give me more time... I will announce when that's moving forward.

-Saraƒin

Thursday, 25 August 2022

Considering ayahuasca...

Ayahuasca is something others have suggested to me, but - fearful of losing control, and not having done much research other than a documentary viewing, discussion with my analyst, and some periodicals from the web, I have never gone and done it.  I received some advice from the spirit world that it would help with severe trauma, so I should consider it.  Right now I am just asking around to see if there's any affordable / recommended options in this area.  (I know that there are, I just want to find out what they are and compare what I hear about them.)  THC is no longer a worry for me, psychoactives react well to me now, so why not, if it's guided?

Part of what suggested this medicine was an interesting download that I never would have expected, and I'm not sure what to make of it just yet.  I had been getting "777" in spirit writings, and the Aleister Crowley "A" from his signature, and I was sure it was suggestive of him.  Today I had a vision of him and got a hopeful message and a recommendation that he would suggest ayahuasca for me at this point.  It's interesting to be getting a download about Crowley after all the suspicion I have held of LHP spirituality, which is what I feel coming out of possession... I just don't trust it, in my case.  But the man was brilliant and perhaps this is something from the Akashic Records... we shall see.  (Wow... I've gone from considering going Catholic to an apparent download from Aleister Crowley!)

I am praying that this medicine come to me easily, if it is meant to be.  (I'm also getting a premonition that the next Mars Retrograde will be an important time for me.)

-Saraƒin

Wednesday, 24 August 2022

Booked for a monastic retreat!

OMG - thank God, finally!

I am FINALLY going away for a bit on a 3 day retreat to a Carmelite monastery in Niagara Falls.  This is a place I found out about years ago that produces ice wine and has a guest house where visitors can go for spiritual retreats, or to treat it like a Catholic bed and breakfast.  Because of all the St. Therese activity recently, I decided I had to go, she was calling, because there is a St. Therese chapel there.  (They might even have a relic.)

I am trying to urge my art again, so I may bring a sketchbook to draw in, since the architecture is quite old world.  I will be sure to take photos of the grounds and post them on Instagram, too.  I always like to carry my tarot cards, but out of respect for how Catholics might feel about that I will only contemplate with them in my room, otherwise, I will have my book of litanies, a rosary, and maybe a Bible for scrying.  (Friends were interested, but could not confirm in time or make it so I opted to be a scout to let them know how it is, for another time.)

I've contemplated the Cobra again as an animal to me, and I now suspect it might be related to Uraeus in Egyptology, and am experimenting a bit with that idea in practice and in prayer.  Lioness is proving to be an important animal to me as well, because of Sekhmet, and because of what a shaman who journeyed for me told me.  He journeyed twice and dreamt about me once and kept seeing me as a lioness.  So it's interesting that he might have caught a glimpse of Sekhmet's influence before I even began having the assumption of the godform with Her.

I am still learning how to control my channeling, and that is one major reason why I shy away from heavy self promotion.  It seems I get lots of downloads and I have to learn to just relax my focus and let them flow.  Downloads from the Akashic Records flow all the time, but I can also call upon them, it's interesting.  It's almost like having a psychic encyclopedia available all the time, and I am constantly seeking to refine it.

Today I think I nailed it in defining my approach to God - I want to be a friend to God, but I want to be a friend to the many faces of God, of many different spiritual kingdoms, so I can behold more of Spirit and conceptualize finer ways of describing Spirit.  It's a mystical path that involves transforming my psychology out of this process, and refining from it.

Also - THC marijuana has created some marvelous changes in my psychology recently, and I am feeling more hopeful about life.  A few days here and there aren't so hot, but darkness has turned to simple oddness, slight confusion.  My biggest demon is a fear of being too "shamanic" for the big city, and getting lost in it, not being heard by medicine.  

But hate - that no longer seems to haunt me like a menacing storm front.  Love dominates, at last.

-Saraƒin

Friday, 19 August 2022

Some thoughts on identifying as a witch...

It's not been very long and already I am not sure if "witch" is the most solid description of what I have going on as a practice, even though I will stick with it for now, since other terms, like "shaman", are considered offensive or misleading, although I should admit that between the two if "shaman" wasn't offensive I would choose that term over "witch".  As much as contemporary politics want to shine a new light on topics that have long been swept under the carpet, there's strange rules about what is considered relevant and what is considered false in spirituality, what's appropriate for whom, and based on what, as though the soul of the person doesn't even play a part in that decision.  I worry that if I self-identify with the wrong thing, I will be lumped in with strange white stereotypes, even in my sincerity.  It's tricky, and sometimes I think - maybe I should drop ALL labels?

So, "witch" is probably shaping up to be more of a persona than anything close to my soul's identity, but maybe in the modern world that's ok.  We experiment with persona all the time - at work, in relationships, with our parents - perhaps this is how I feel something out in my life right now, especially coming out of spiritual emergency and everything that came with it.

I went to a gathering recently to scout for kindred spirits, and I am likely to return again, but I could tell the room was filled with anti-Christian sentiments.  Since that's a major part of my practice, I felt funny and wondered what people thought of the big Benedict medal crucifix around my neck, or the mention that I work with Catholic-style folk magick, on and off.  Not sure if they were my people.  I have a feeling I would have a much easier time finding witchy folk who get the Jesus thing in the United States... scrap that, I know I would.

BTW, as much as the Roman Catholics have been a problem throughout history, I have to say - the most compassionate group I have encountered when talking about spiritual assault and possession are the Catholics, oddly enough.  They honestly wanted to give good advice, truly felt sympathy for the possessed, as if understanding how bleak it must be ... they might even donate a family heirloom, or some consecrated item.  The worst were the militant atheists... unsympathetic, some even talked down to me like I was stupid.  Pagans often gave lots of advice but it brought me nowhere in my healing.  Everyone else was more or less about the same in other ways... oh, except new agers... fuck them.  They just told me it was a being of light and to befriend it.  I tried doing that and ended up in hospital.  

So yes, thank you Catholics, for the rosaries, prayers, and support.  I think it was that aspect, among a couple of others, that truly made me consider becoming a Catholic, when I had that phase.

But then... Jesus said no.  So now I'm my own damn thing, still exploring.

-Saraƒin

Wednesday, 17 August 2022

Hallowe'en mask wearing - final decision...

Today I purchased some hair weave extensions and made these for the mask.  I decided, like the strap in the back that attaches the mask to my head, it will be removable with velcro.  I find props with flexibility tend to last longer, that's why I liked the idea of velcro being used to hold things in place... it can be adjusted easily.

Also - as demonstrated in this pic, I want to wear the mask on top of my head now, for safety and comfort reasons.  My mother suggested I paint my face gold, which I thought about doing too, so I might go with that and then have dramatic eye makeup.  It's fun over the face but just too awkward and difficult to last all night like that.  The mask resting on my head like this is growing on me as an idea the more I consider it.

So now I just need gold makeup, a black wig, maybe some fancy fake nails to wear... any little touches I encounter might add to it as Hallowe'en approaches.  

Good to make a nice big flashy god/goddess costume again!

-Saraƒin

Tuesday, 16 August 2022

Video of the mask...

 
Got some Dollarama LEDs, fiddled with the elastic that holds the mask in place, and captured this quick video!  Some things still need tweaking and reinforcing, but other than that and adding the hair extensions, this mask is about done.  I imagine soon the 'Spirit of Hallowe'en' pop up shop will arrive in town, and then I can grab a wig to go with this.  I'll also keep my eyes open for anything that suits this costume as an accessory.

Not sure how this ranks with my better costumes, but it was fun to make!  Can't wait for October festivities!

-Saraƒin

More costume updates...

 Looks like I have just about everything now to complete this costume, except for the wig and extensions, and of course the LEDs!  (And boy, what a pain in the ass that was today, trying to get help with that!  I think I'll just see if I can get a cheap string of them from Dollarama and see how those work... hardware shops haven't been very helpful.)

Butterfly in Kensington Market is a great place for cheap alternative accessories, so I bought some cuffs that felt goddess-y enough, as well as that infinity loop necklace I'm wearing in the picture.  I don't have the time or money to really capture anything truly rich or authentic, but I don't want cheap Hallowe'en costume accessories either, like those hokey pharaoh costumes.  So I settled for a dance troupe aesthetic, as though it's a costume from a performance.  The stuff I could find with that aesthetic in mind was within budget but could still look really nice in its own way.

The mask has been glazed several times over, and I touched up the nose a bit more, deciding the black could be taken down a notch - nothing a little gold paint and some pen couldn't fix.  I bought gold rings but realized I had bought the wrong type (these are better suited for key chains, not things like earrings and jewelry), so I decided to loosely hang them from smaller rings that I have in silver - then I changed it again, since snapping this picture, figuring out how to fiddle with what I had purchased.  I just finished gluing the cobra and the solar disc to the mask, now I wait for it to dry again, before getting to fitting, elastic, and anything that comes with the LEDs.

I do hope this costume holds together well with the mask - it's been a very long time since I did props regularly, so working with certain materials is a faint memory for me.


Well, that's the latest!  Hopefully by my next post I will have at least sorted out that LED issue!

-Saraƒin

Sunday, 14 August 2022

Another mask update!

On to the painting, leafing and breakdown, then details.  This is one of my favourite stages of propmaking... getting involved with the paints!

Gold leafing a lioness mask took me back to my "Lion King" propmaking days, when I would leaf the lioness cuffs for the cast.  I found that with two layers of gold paint over the primer coat, I didn't even need to do a perfect gold leaf job, because breakdown would mask imperfections later anyway.  When I got to the black, I screwed up the symmetry a bit, and had to amplify the black around the nose to fix it... I decided that Sekhmet here is wearing war paint, being a war goddess, and decided it didn't have to look Egyptian to be a beautiful costume.  Artistic licence.  It might even make her look extra ferocious when the LEDs light up the eyes.

And speaking of LEDs, I need to go to a hardware store and see about getting 3 LEDs attached to a battery pack.  Why 3?  I think a third one lighting up the gold disc would really make this look divine at night - so I need to see about getting that device made by a store technician.

Everything is in my bathtub now, drying under a coat of varnish.  2 coats of varnish should do it... maybe 3, to be safe in case it rains.

I can't wait to see it all done and lit up!

-Saraƒin

Friday, 12 August 2022

Sekhmet mask update...

After pouring my morning coffee, I got to work on sculpting with clay on top of the base of the Sekhmet mask.  Mostly I built up the nose and cheeks... I didn't want to add too much clay to keep the mask as light as possible.  After shaping things a little, I rubbed white glue into the crevices of the papier mache that weren't smooth, and into the cracks.  Once this is dry, I'll put glue on the inside as well.

I think what might come next is first a prime coat of white (of course), then several coats of gold.  Once that is even, I will gold leaf it, then do breakdown with metallic Sharpies and brown paint buffed into the leaf.  If all goes well, this could turn out quite elegant.

The solar disc was something I considered for a while - at first I thought about using paper plates pressed together, gold leafed and attached, but the shape might be too obvious.  So, having gold card stock left over from the Virgin Mary crown project, I'm going to make a cardboard disc and then glue gold card stock to both sides.  Would be less awkward than the plates, too - and the gold on the card stock is really shiny.  (I'm also going to shape a little cobra for the top out of the gold card stock, with a bit of wire.)

I will also be getting black hair extensions and a black wig, the extensions will hang from the mask with beads attached to them, like braids.  I think the only real challenge left that might take some trial and error is getting the mask to comfortably and firmly fit on my head, and getting the eyes to light up without any complications in vision or comfort.

This mask is now drying by the window ... I'll be sure to update with more as its completion progresses!

-Saraƒin

Thursday, 11 August 2022

Hallowe'en costume 2022: Sekhmet!

What better deity to costume next than my patron deity for magick?  I decided that since I often feel an astral skin mask of a lioness come over me when Sekhmet comes through, I should make a Sekhmet mask, and the costume idea went from there.

Today I had a bit of a haul for costuming stuff with a trip to the Kensington Market area.  I found this dress at Courage My Love for only $14, plus this coin necklace, which I later attached a scarab beetle charm and an ankh to.  (The other necklace was a gift from my mother, and the coin belt, something I might use but am not sure about just yet, was something I just had kicking around.)

The mask is going to be tricky but hopefully not impossible.  I got the clever (?) idea to use Kinder Surprise egg toy shells and make creepy light up eyes with LEDs.  Black beads are used for the pupils, and hopefully I can get a spark of the LED to shine through the hole in the bead as though Her eyes are flashing.  I bought wire mesh (the kind used for screen doors) and shaped a structure before using good old fashioned papier mache to cover it, creating a base.  Realizing what might complicate things with the LEDs and the eyes, I think this mask has to be propped up on some kind of tiara headband or something, as opposed to being tied to the face.

I also bought sculpting clay that can air dry, and plan on using gold paint and imitation gold leaf to make the mask glow bright gold.  I am hoping the result will be a scary looking lioness goddess who is glamorous but ferocious.  (I have a few fun tunes picked out for Hallowe'en karaoke with this one, "Walk Like an Egyptian" by The Bangles being one of the first that came to mind.  I just hope this mask will allow me to read well enough to execute the lyrics!)

I think I missed being creative - it felt really good to get started on this today. Even just getting most of the clothing and jewelry, and getting started on the base of the mask was a good step forward.  I have some painting underway too, but with Hallowe'en approaching, I decided to take on a costuming challenge again this year... the pandemic killed Hallowe'en fun for me for the last couple of years.  (I actually chipped a tooth on candy in 2021, so that's how great that Oct 31st was!)

One more thing, rather silly - I realized that divination tools can be made out of anything... I thought of that when I bought the Kinder Surprise eggs.  As a kid, I used to weigh the eggs in my hands, assuming a heavier egg meant a better toy inside.  Now, I want to try concentrating on a question and seeing which egg I am drawn to purchase, rather like a fortune cookie, to get a sense of what the toy inside might suggest to the unconscious.  Just a fun alternative to other tools - kind of like using Dixit cards, when I do that.

I contemplated a brief hospital stay after having a meltdown a couple times in a row, alone and by myself... no real urgency, I am just lonely and want to be around people in a safe environment.  Some days are excellent... other days, I don't know what it all means, and worry I may never.  In the end, I decided to just stay home because CAMH is no spa - it's a depressing reminder of poverty, and of the fact that medicine ignores my story, retraumatizing me with stigmatizing labels that are convenient to doctors but barely describe any portion of what I actually went through.  I decided that what I really need is a vacation, so I might consider a trip to that carmelite monastery in Niagara-on-the-Lake.  Rome is still something I'm considering with a friend for next year, but not in 2022.

Man, if money was no object - I would certainly travel more!

-Saraƒin