Spring Awakening

I continue to work on my personal oracle over this last week, painting portraits of Leviathan, Eurynomous, and Astaroth.

I’m particularly pleased with the work I did on Astaroth’s painting, as I’ve struggled to capture her on paper for some time. I also began canvases for Unsere, Verrine, and Amducius. I still have at least eight more cards to go, but I do not think I’ll be able to finish that many by April 1. Even so, I’ll keep at it so that I will have the oracle deck for use for at least part of the next Domagick challenge.

However, I must now set my painting on the back burner and concentrate on a couple of different tasks over the next week instead.

First, I must prepare for the Spring Equinox and the First Rite to Lucifer. In this ritual, I will celebrate him as Lord of the air, enlightenment, and new beginnings. At other times in my life, I have participated in shamanic journey circles dedicated at this time of year to Waking the Bear: a harbinger of spring where I live who begins to emerge from the dream of hibernation around the Equinox. I do not typically associate Lucifer with this animal, fierce and powerful as it is, but I will undoubtedly still journey deep within the Bear’s cave this week to see what both may have to say to me. Now is when the world reawakens and all can be reborn anew.

Right after the Equinox, I’m taking part in a Spring Novelama from March 22 to 25th. The goal is for each participant to produce twenty-five thousand words from the comfort of their own writing cave. I may not hit that target, but I’m dedicated to completing at least one story I have on the go. I’ve set up my entire schedule to focus on those four days.

Wish me luck, and Happy Equinox!

Joy Through Play – Feb Domagick Week 4

The latest Domagick challenge is nearly complete. Its theme was meditation, and while it was recommended that we give classical forms a try, I chose to meditate each day with my paintbrush in hand on the Daemonic Divine. I’d hoped that the artistic meditations would deepen my connection to the Daemonic Divine as well as prepare me creatively for any other work I had to do later in the day. Now, a month later, I would have to say that this is a successful technique—with some caveats.

Artistic meditations depend on lighter work—quite literally. Unlike meditations it can be conducted by candlelight or even with your eyes closed, these kind of meditations require good lighting and your eyes open. Some people may feel they are not able to go as “deep” while doing art, either into their trance state or into their own psyche. To rectify that, I would suggest putting on a pair of headphones while you paint or draw, noise canceling if possible, and listening to either a drumming track or music you find atmospheric but nonintrusive. This will disconnect you from the outside world while helping anchor you more profoundly to the subject of your meditations. Even so, I was still experimenting with color and shapes using this technique—playing to a certain extent—and it was nearly impossible for me to finish an artistic meditation in a dark mood. Therefore, while this technique could be used for hexcraft and the like, I believe it is better geared towards “lighter” magick.

Secondly, the artistic meditations tended to satisfy my need to be creative well enough that I often felt done for the day once completing them. I would become so completely absorbed in my task that I sometimes lost track of time. That, coupled with a hectic month, meant I got less writing done that I wanted. Despite this, my mood was vastly brighter than usual during these dark winter months, and I felt marvelously accomplished despite the lower than desired page count. Regardless of whether my paintings were decent or not, I now look over this month’s sketchbook with a certain amount of pride for a job well done. Seen this way, they are possibly too involving to successfully prime me for other creative work later in the day, but shouldn’t be dismissed when it comes to emotional control and regulation.

These meditations have helped me see a different side of the Daemonic Divine too. They helped me realize I can relax more than I have been with the Daemonic, that I can have fun and just bask in their energies, rather than doing hard labor all of the time. Occasionally, resting and restoring your reserves is enough. I frequently tell that to my students but have a hard time listening to my own advice. It was good to absorb the lesson so easily and intrinsically that I didn’t fight against it every step of the way.

When I was pushing for a higher wordcount, my writing caused me repeatedly to meditate on Astaroth this week, as I have many times throughout February. As before, I struggled to capture the seduction and confidence of this powerful demoness. More than anything, I’ve wanted to get her eyes down on paper, as I find these the most arresting thing about her. I’m not sure I’ll ever get the Queen of Heaven right at this point, but I have greatly enjoyed the time I have spent with her. It’s been frustrating at times, but enlightening.

May your March be filled with light and joy!

Toast with Leviathan

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This is the sigil of Leviathan. His enn is Jedan hoet naca Leviathan. You can find a guided meditation to Leviathan and other spirits of water here. (Graphic by William Briar.)

Leviathan can be seen as an initiating force. Not only do Daemonolaters hold initiations and baptisms on his holy days, but all humans are born into the waters of the womb. It only makes sense that water is featured so highly in rebirth rituals around the world. For the Equinox Rite of Leviathan, I’m returning to what I feel is the real spirit of this month’s Domagick challenge: simplicity.

We were supposed to embrace a beginner’s mind set and take on a new technique, but I’ve done my best to complicate reconnecting with the nine Daemonic Divinities since day one. Rather than simply talk to them, I forced my budding interest in the Lenormand into the conversation before could really get started.

Daily card draws can be a perfectly valid way to speak with spirit or just peek ahead at your day. There’s no reason why I shouldn’t have used them to deepen my relationship with the Nine—except that learning the new language of Lenormand interfered constantly like static on a poor phone line. If the relationship mattered more to me than the cards, I could have opened up my mouth and offered more than just my blood each day.

I can blame the chaos of my recent move on why I didn’t, since towers of boxes and upset felines often made of putting my emotions into my offerings more difficult than usual. Even with using my prayer to draw my attention back to task, my concerns would wander to whatever could go wrong next. Perhaps if I’d been carrying on my end of a conversation, I wouldn’t have felt quite so distracted. Sometimes memorized prayers don’t give your mind enough to do.

Whether or not I could have heard the Nine more easily remains up in the air. I do know that the last three days I spent talking to my deceased grandfather have felt more uniting than the last 20 spent with the Nine in prayer. Today I’m going to let myself ramble with the Daemonic Divinities just as I have with him. I will tell them all about where I am in my life and where I hope to go. I will reacquaint myself with them again after over two years of devoting myself to the spirits of the Ars Goetia. There’ll be a time for the pounding of a drum and a deeper journey on the actual day of the Equinox. For this morning, I will share my tea and toast with the Nine and tell them that I’ve missed them.

And only after I have offered myself at length will I listen.

Hail Leviathan! Hail the Daemonic Divinities.

Tea – How to Share It with Your Ancestors

Tomorrow many Daemonolaters will celebrate the equinox rite of Leviathan, which is traditional held on September 21st of each year. I plan to hold my ritual on the 22nd, when the actual equinox falls in my city. This rite symbolizes the changing of the daemonic elements. This is the time of water, highly apt since I am working with an ancestor who used to find wells with divining rods in addition to the Nine.

The Rite of Leviathan also symbolizes the turning of the Wheel of the Year. Although autumn supposedly starts tomorrow, it is already rained here for several days. I’ve given up ice cold diet colas for warm drinks.

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Create a space to share a cup of tea with your ancestors. This can be as plain or as elaborate as you like.

If you’re similarly inclined, here’s a way of sharing water in the form of tea with your ancestors.

  1. Create some sort of space to drink tea with your ancestors.
  2. Brew yourself a large cup of your favorite type.
  3. When the tea is the right temperature to drink, pick it up with your left hand and inhale it scent. Truly try to savor it, for you were smelling it for both yourself and your ancestors.
  4. Transfer the cup to your right hand.
  5. Dip the ring finger of your left hand (the one tied directly to your heart) into the tea. Flick your wet finger three times into the air, once for each of the three levels of the Otherworld. Our ancestors and all their wisdom are said to reside in the Lowerworld.
  6. Dip your ring finger into the tea again. Anoint your third eye, your mouth, and your heart.
  7. Drink half of the tea and leave the remainder in a place you have set up for your ancestors. Let them drink from the energy of the tea as it cools.
  8. If you have pets who may knock over the tea, you can dispose of the tea as soon as it has cooled completely, either by drinking it yourself or returning it outside. Otherwise, let the tea sit on your altar for 24 hours before being respectfully returned to earth.

(If you read cards often you may know what I mean by the following statement: today I fell down the reading rabbit hole. What I saw worried me, so one question quickly led to another. Soon I’d read five different spreads about work and finances. I’d even made a phone call to put my concerns to rest! The candles on my altars had burnt low by the time I’d gotten to the heart of the matter. I packed my cards away feeling better, but even so I’m keeping today’s work for this Domagick challenge to myself.)