This Domagick challenge is a success! We were supposed to concentrate on self-alchemy, so I chose to invoke Belphegore and work with his energies daily to strengthen myself personally and professionally. In thanks, I said that I would write him a story. I finished that story last Friday. I handed it over to a trusted friend and editor the same day to see what she could make of it. I usually let stories sit for a while before I edit them and then hand them off to someone else for critique and polishing, but this is a different sort of project. I want her fingerprints clearly visible beside mine in the clay of this finished piece. I’m not entirely sure yet what it will become. Regardless of how much work is still required on the story, I need to keep writing fiction the way I have been the last three weeks. It will keep my mental muscles in shape. That way I’ll be ready to go whenever a story idea strikes. I already have a few plot bunnies that need attention, but I can always turn to writing prompts if necessary. The point is to keep my mind limber so switching back and forth between fiction and nonfiction isn’t so much of a problem anymore. There are additional ways I could be strengthening myself as a writer, but if I don’t maintain this base level of “exercise,” none of that will matter. I can only add those other things to my schedule once I get this fiction habit down.
As I mentioned last time, it is far more difficult for me to determine whether I am gaining emotional strength by invoking Belphegore each day. I admit, the issue that was bothering me when I first started this round of the Domagick challenge rarely crosses my mind anymore. However, I’m not sure if I should thank Belphegore for that, or if it was simply a matter of time. There is a lesson in this, of course, and one that has been presented to me many times before: all things are transient, especially emotions. This includes the painful ones, although it may not feel so at the time. Perhaps the strength I have gained was not the type I originally thought, one where I would be able to bear more, or feel less. Instead, it is one of hindsight or endurance.
In my personal life, I have definitely felt Belphegore pushing me to take better care of my health. I had a number of appointments I needed to make, all of which I had been putting off simply because my schedule was too busy. There never seem to be enough time with all that I needed to get done. Strangely enough, as soon as I started making these appointments and committing to looking after myself, my schedule began to thin. It’s not perfect yet, and just like I have to commit to writing fiction on a regular basis, I must commit to only taking on one appointment per week. Otherwise, I will overwhelm myself.
If nothing else, maybe the strength I gained during this Domagick challenge is realizing how much I require I schedule to thrive—plus figuring out how much my current schedule had been out of whack. My new one is quite different, favoring my real priorities and what I want to do over the priorities of other people. I know that there will be some backlash because of this, but I’ve also been reminded that such things don’t last forever.
Today, I invoked Belphegore, meditated in his presence, and made my daily offerings to him. The stones that I hold sacred for him grow darker each day, and I look forward to taking them outside on the last day of Belphegore’s rites.
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