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A Schedule for Me: April Domagick Days 12 – 23

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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The sigil of Belphegore, altered for the day I had an optometrist appointment.

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April Domagick: Strength Through Belphegore

And what else have I been doing besides finishing Daemonic Dreams?

Well, to be honest, I’ve been having mixed feelings about this blog. To start with, I haven’t been treating it very well. I may not have posted here in over a month, but I have been seen other places, notably FaceBook, Tumblr, and Instagram. I don’t think I would ever give up having a blog for one of those places entirely—I simply like owning my own content too much—but I love their convenience compared to that of self-hosted WordPress. They make cross-posting and sharing to other forums easy and intuitive while WP does not. I’ve figured it out an everything, but I hate how much work it is, still, after all this time. It feels so damn clunky and a waste of effort if I am just spitting out a few paragraphs about my daily Domagick work.

That’s all my entries have been for months now, and it is boring the crap out of me. On the other hand, whenever I think about writing about something far more in-depth, I end up staring down at my hands on the keyboard instead, my heart hammering in my ears, hardly able to type a word at all. I am an author, mainly of occult non-fiction. When I tackle the Domagick challenge, I have to post about it in a compelling way if I want to maintain and draw more readers. People come here to read about my writing and my spiritual and magickal journey. I have to put something of myself in my entries to do that.

Yet uneasiness keeps me from doing so. I maintain an uneasy relationship with the internet. Despite the fact this is an open blog, I’m not comfortable sharing most of the details of my life. I’ve struggled for months now with how to write about my spirituality and give the writing meaning without that context. If I don’t find “laundry list entries” for the Domagick challenge interesting (i.e. “meditated for fifteen minutes, talked to Asmodeus, madean  offering), how can my readers possibly do so?

I tried to handle the problem differently in February, when I focused on love and kindness while working with the daemon Asafoetida. During that time, whenever I felt anxiety about sharing too much of my private life on my blog, I tried to extend loving kindness to the people I preferred not to read it. If I couldn’t, I tried to send loving kindness toward myself instead. While I found the process calming at the time, I do not find it helped my anxiety about my blog in the long-term—maybe because I didn’t disclose my full motivation up front. I simply said I wanted to feel better about myself, not why.

This Domagick challenge I am attacking the same problem again, from a different angle, and this is explicitly why. Some people like to be coy about why they blog, but I see no point. I am a writer, and writing helps give me joy and put money in my family’s bank account. I need to conquer my anxiety over this blog for my happiness and my financial welfare. I doubt that I will ever be a superstar, everyday-without-fail blogger, but I want to have a regular routine that I don’t dread. What I have right now is just bullshit.

So.

Today is the first of Belphegore’s rites. I had always planned on working with him during this challenge because he is the feature of my next non-fiction book, but had been vague exactly how. I am tired of letting fate shape me. As a magician, I know that I can shape myself like the iron in the forge. Therefore, each day this month I will invoke Belphegore in his role as Master of Weaponry and Armor and draw down his energy in an effort to strengthen myself,  not only emotionally but as a writer. My offering to him will be a selection of writings that I will offer to the flames at the end of his rites. During that time, I will share something in his honor each day. More than likely it will be a photograph with a brief selection of writing. That means I will more than likely be posting it on FB, Tumblr, and Instagram daily and summing up the posts here once a week.

 

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Daemonic Dreams – Coming Soon

Hey there. Long time, no post! I’ve been busy writing and editing my next book, Daemonic Dreams. I’ve taken a new editor on board, and she pointed out several places where I could expand my original ideas. I had to go back to my original notes! Even so, her advice plus my usual line editor’s keen eyes are truly helping bring Daemonic Dreams together.

By working through the exercises in the book, you can learn to recall your dreams better, plan what you want to dream about in advance, and even control the very fabric of your dreams themselves. More importantly, what your dreams are about need no longer puzzle you, as you’ll have figured out how to interpret them without a dream dictionary. I’ve included rituals involving dream deities from ancient Sumeria, Egypt, and Greece, all in a Daemonolatry context, as well as dream daemons from The Ars Goetia, The Grimorium Verum, and Dukanté Hierarchy. I have also provided nightmare protection and creation rites for those who either suffer from such horrible dreams or wish to terrify their enemies.

Daemonic Dreams is in its final editing stage and should release on the Kindle by April 7, with paperback to quickly follow. I’ll say it then and I’ll say it now: a hundred thanks to those of you who helped get the book to market. I couldn’t have done it without you.

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Chakra Assessment #Domagick Day 28

It’s the last day of the current Domagick challenge. In the end, I would have to say that my chakras are  in better condition now than they were a month ago. I discovered a major blockage in my heart chakra earlier in February, and I managed to clear that away.

However, I have noticed a tendency for my chakras to slow down over the course of each week. This is natural, I suppose. We all get tired and need to refresh and balance ourselves. I’ve found that brief, daily attunements keep things  in alignment until my weekly rebalancing. Without them I am sluggish and have a hard time collecting my thoughts at work. If nothing else, this challenge has reinforced how important frequent psychic hygiene is—and given me a couple of technique to use to maintain mine.

For the last day of the challenge, I decided to move through the salutations of Ptah meditative/breathing positions. Afterward, I felt clear-headed and ready to tackle the rest of the afternoon. My Lenormand pair for the day was SHIP + FISH, which I read as “discovering wealth” or “discovering value.” And, yes, I certainly have discovered physical valuein my chakra work this month. It has helped body’s energy as well as my mood, both of which make dreary winter afternoons easier to take.

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Asafoetida: Love and Femininity #Domagick Day 27

As the month comes to a close, it’s time to reflect back on my work with the daemoness Asafoetida. I found it challenging in a couple of ways, and not because she has a “dubious” historical background.

At first I found the concept of self-love difficult, and had to concentrate on sending loving kindness out towards others more than I did on sending it towards myself. However, as the month progressed, I became more comfortable with the time spent on the self-care routine of the daily chakra maintenance. I already participate in this sort of psychic hygiene, but I know now that I need to engage in at least a like cleansing every day since my surgery.

Secondly, I second-guessed everything that I sensed about Asafoetida, worrying it was too stereotypical feminine. From the first, the color that I sensed for her was light pink. I smelled rose petals whenever I meditated on her for any length of time. Was this how she manifested for me legitimately, or was I dredging up Barbie-like brain chatter simply because she is the daemon of feminine attributes? I still sensed what I sensed, but I doubted it, and that doubt got in the way of our communication. I will have to approach her again at another time and re-assess.

Nonetheless, the practice of chanting the warrior syllables or moving through the Salutations of Ptah everyday has made me feel better, mentally and physically. I “sense” my chakras run better afterwards too, which is the point, of course. On the other hand, being able to improve my mood when I start feeling the afternoon blues has helped my self-esteem, even if I am not always 100% successful. Today I ran through both the warrior syllables and the salutations, and my mind feels like I have taken a refreshing nap.

My card of the day was the 2 of cups, which I read as starting a new relationship. I believe that I am starting a new relationship with how I will be handling my psychic hygiene from here on out.

Roundup #Domagick Day 26

Three days left of this Domagick challenge. This one has been a mixed bag for me. For one, I didn’t blog on the weekends. I needed the time off, which means I broke the official rules. Besides that, I didn’t complete the divination prompts that I originally to use throughout the month. They simply stopped inspiring me about half way through. Divination remains a cornerstone of my practice, of course, though I continue to rove from deck to deck like a wandering oracle.

Secondly, I stopped focusing on specific chakras part way through this Domagick challenge, and choose to instead focus on my overall energy “flow” each day. Did I have blockages? This is a highly subjective, of course. Regardless, attempting to cleanse my chakras through both visualization, sound, and movement made me feel better. When I wanted to take a mid-afternoon nap, I often turned to that practice instead, and it perked me back up.

I have found chanting the warrior syllables and putting my body through the positions I call the Salutations to Ptah the most helpful in this regard. I’ll keep using those as part of my regular psychic hygiene. Alternating those with my other cleansing techniques with stop me from getting bored. I like to keep things interesting

Today I fell back on my experience as shamanic practitioner and burnt white sage to cleanse myself and my office. In my mind, the smoke only does part of the work, and I called on both prayer and visualization to cleanse me today as well. I will return to the routine of the Domagick challenge tomorrow.

Everybody’s Working For the Weekend #Domagick Day 23

Everybody’s working for the weekend… or at least my office hours have rolled over into Saturday and Sunday a lot lately. That why I’m not blogging again this weekend. In fact, I decided to take it easy in terms of my actual Domagick work too and I carried out my full chakra cleansing this morning instead. I chanted the five warrior syllables for about twenty minutes while visualizing and physically moving Reiki energy through the trunk of my body. The morning had simply dragged up until that point, but afterwards I felt positively spritely. I’ll keep tuning my energy centers over the weekend using the meditation / breathing positions I call the Salutations of the Ptah. My daily Lenormand cards seem to indicate this is the way to go. When asked how I should care for my chakras this weekend, I pulled BOUQUET + CROSS, or a dutiful reward. After a long week of work, that is certainly what a couple days off from blogging will feel like.

Demons and Gender: Asafoetida #domagick day 22

I played with watercolors yesterday to burn off some stress. I considered painting something for Asafoetida, but became hung up on how I would capture her presence. It is difficult to picture her, as I would say that my strongest impression of her has been scent. I tend to smell flowers for a short time after working with her no matter what incense I use. I often “see” impressions of the color pink, but in both cases those could be my interpretation of what a daemoness of feminine attributes should be like. Gender isn’t as easily put in a box than that, and I didn’t want to box in Asafoetida in either.  I don’t want to make assumptions. Perhaps I will grow to know her better over time. Today’s Lenormand cards (BIRDS + STORK = Improving communication) imply that I will.

I certainly haven’t connected with her as well as some other daemons, but I haven’t connected with this Domagick challenge as well as others either. The daily blogging feels like a grind, like collecting 30 of the same thing in Warcraft. But I continued my pursuit of “leveling up” and worked the breathing / meditation positions of Ptah today. Again, it evened out my mood and my energy until my full cleansing on the weekend.)