Augury Through Cat Puke and Tarot #domagick

DOMAGICK CHALLENGE DAY 2

I feel like I was kicked in the teeth this morning. One of my cats jumped up on the bookshelf and knocked down what I’d I spent a week crafting with Malphas. One of its parts cracked right down the middle. It wasn’t just a trinket. I’d spent days charging it with positivity, security, and creativity. Now I either need to repair it or start again. Worse yet, when I came home one of them had puked spectacularly all over my desk chair. I couldn’t help but think the universe was trying to tell me something. Last night’s question kept coming back to me. “I’m a writer, aren’t I?”

I suppose I am. I do, after all, write. Sometimes I even enjoy it. I blog at demonolatry.org and have a good time doing it. I’m may ache after my time at my desk, but I don’t resent that. It feels like time well spent. I feel the same way about the posts here. I’m not sure how many people are reading, but at least I’m being given a chance to express myself.

Other times, writing feels like a burden. I don’t mean the business aspect of it. Although marketing yourself on the internet is never fun, I’ve gotten used to that over the years. Perhaps not savvy at it, but I recognize that it is a task I cannot ignore. Yet that isn’t the part of writing I’m referring to, or even the Dreaded Novel I Cannot Finished. Rather, it is that people think of me as a writer. It is what they expect me to do with my days, and what they expect me to be good at, and to be satisfied by. Writing has always been at the core of who I am. I fear that saying it no longer makes me happy a good portion of the time will make me seem like an entirely different person: a lesser person, someone not as worthwhile in their eyes.

The people I admire most are storytellers. A few have been published—many times, in fact. Others struggle to place their stories. They remain among the most gifted tale-tellers I know. I always feel blessed when they open up and share one with me. In all likelihood, most of them wouldn’t even consider themselves storytellers at all. They might say they have the gift of the gab, that they can make people laugh, or that they are natural healers. Indeed, they should be allowed to define themselves, but they remain storytellers to me, and they seem a little bit magical because of that.

Two tell stories with something other than words. The teacher of my sound healing class can spin tales with graceful movements alone. On the other hand, my husband weaves stories with color and light. He paints in three mediums now, with oil being the latest he’s trying to master. He once wrote together, but he could never quite express with words what he can with the brush and he always felt as if he was trying to catch up to me.

I admit it sometimes frustrated me that such a knowledge gap existed between us, but I knew he would catch up. I’ve often wondered if the joy went out of writing for me when he moved onto painting. Deciding that would be the easy but not true; in many ways, I prefer to work alone. Still, I often resented the excitement with which he raced to his easel while I trudged to my desk. I knew fibromyalgia and all shit-ton of other health conditions made harder and harder for me to sit there, but I also realized stress worsened fibromyalgia. After years away from drawing, I finally tried my hand art again to spend time with husband and to relieve that stress.

When absorbed in lines and color, the world disappears for me in the way like it used to when I wrote fiction. I cannot connect with stories that way anymore. I have to fight through fibro fog to write at all. I was amazed when I could edit a friend’s work so easily the other day. It took me hours, but I could concentrate in a way that I can only with visual art and meditation now. I know if I keep plugging away at it, that I can probably could force those neural pathways open and write again… but I don’t want to do so.

I think that’s what my spirits were trying to tell me when they brought up the Novel That Dare Not Be Named and all its labyrinth symbolism again. It was a story about a man who felt himself changing and became terrified of that change. I felt myself changing while writing it and became similarly afraid. Back then, I was certain that any metamorphosis providing me with the key to happiness would also guarantee I’d end up alone. I still fear that, only now I can see that my chrysalis involves art. The tarot deck I consulted today said no change will come at all unless I am willing to admit what I want, no matter the risk. I’ve known this all along.

Not so long ago, the writer I admire most suggested I take a break from writing. Other than my current commitments, that’s what I’m going to do. I will even play what if with myself and pretend I am not a writer, at least not a professional one. I may be good at writing, I can support my friends and all they do, but I do not have to write anything new this months unless it makes me happy.

Somehow I forgot that muses must be nurtured. They must live in a healthy environment to thrive. I’ve kept mine in a coal mine, working him 24/7 for years. Even when I wasn’t selling my work, all my writing was aimed at eventual sale or getting me forward in some way. I stopped writing for fun—except for the few bits and bobs I mentioned before. I’ll keep up with those because there’s no reason not to; it makes no sense to throw away what still works, does it?

In light of what I’m figuring out about myself, I’m ratifying my original plans to bring them more in line with working with daemons of love and understanding. Therefore:

EVERY DAY I will write my novel for one hour, without planning anything in advance, using a soundtrack I created for inspiration. I will not judge or even looking back at the work until the end of the month.  Listen to the soundtrack. Meditate on and disperse any anxieties it brings up with dance and sound. I accomplished this today.

EVERY DAY – At minimum, sing the enns of the daemons I’m working with and run their energy through my chakras. I accomplished this today as well.

EVERY DAY – Make some new art, even if all I do is photograph or draw something I love. If possible, I will listen to upbeat music while I work. I haven’t managed this yet, but I still plan to after dinner. I feel like saying I want to make is major movement on this front, since I’ve been nearly paralyzed to say it out loud and disappoint people I love. In addition to completing day two of the #developingyoureye challenge through WordPress and snapping the photo you can find below, I took a snapshot of the angel which sits on my porch. Do you love her as much as I do? You can see her at the top of this post.

And, of course…

EVERY WEDNESDAY – Attend a sound healing class here in my city.

MARCH 10 to 12 – Attend workshop on the how to use the 5 Warrior Syllables.

A photo street lit by street lamps take for #developingyoureye
“A Quiet Night” by William Briar

With a Song in My Heart, I Look Fear in the Face #domagick

In the past, many people have said, “music hath charms to soothe the savage beast.” That’s because they got the quote by Congreve wrong. I understand why, too. The phrase “savage breast” brings such strange images to mind nowadays. Maybe the public chose to go with the sentence which made more sense to them, quote be damned. After all, what parent hasn’t tried a lullaby at least once when their child started crying for no reason?

In our infancy, we are at our most primal—driven entirely by our needs without thought for what society says we should want. Those worries come later, when we learn how to be civilized. Sadly, the better we become at fulfilling others, the worse we tend to be at fulfilling ourselves. If we’re taught to fret about the opinions of others too early, we might not even remember the goals and desires we left behind. This leads some of us to search outside ourselves for missing pieces that aren’t really gone at all, only suppressed and ignored. I believe music has the power to lure the angry and wounded parts of us back into the light for healing.

Previously on my blog, I talked about a novel that scared me so much that I couldn’t finish writing it, and how my fear blocked me from nearly any writing fiction afterward. Since posting how I’d decided it’s time to tackle the project again, I’ve had nightmares frequently. Some are truly awful, others merely nonsensical, but a good deal of them feature labyrinth symbolism I can’t ignore. The book is obviously weighing on my mind although I haven’t started it yet.

demon daemon MalphasBut I didn’t want to go in unprepared. First, I wanted to work with the daemon Malphas to build myself a place of safety and creativity in which to write. The old books magicians are supposed to care about say he can strengthen our defenses. The grimoires also depict Malphas as a giant, humanoid raven. Considering that makes Malphas look like the long lost, twin brother of my novel’s monster, I figured I could face a fear or two when I contacted him.

Few people know that ravens are our largest songbirds. Of course, their love songs sound a little like gargling rocks, but so do mine on most days. That’s why I chose to invoke Malphas with song this week. I sang his enn whenever I invited him into my circle, occasionally adding the beat of my rattle as a counterpoint.

It was difficult for me to open up that way. I know each spirit-song was meant to be a conversation between me and the Divine, but I remained keenly aware of the size of our new apartment. My family sat just down the hall every time I worked with Malphas, and I was certain they could hear me crooning and cawing away. It was nerve-wracking until the rites gained momentum. Then it was just… me and Spirit. I didn’t care who heard.

I hope that I will feel the same way throughout March. To support the work that I will be doing on the novel, I’ll be integrating sound into my life in the following ways during the #domagick challenge:

EVERY DAY – I will write my novel for one hour, without planning anything in advance, using a soundtrack I created for inspiration. I will not judge or even looking back at the work until the end of the month.

EVERY DAY – I plan to make some new art, even if all I do is photograph or draw something I love. If possible, I will listen to upbeat music while I work.

EVERY DAY – At minimum, I will sing the enns of the daemons I’m working with and run their energy through my chakras. This month I’ve chosen Salleos (for love), Ose (for self-understanding), Sitri (for a passionate life), and Crocell (to soften hard emotions).

EVERY WEDNESDAY – I am attending a sound healing class here in my city.

MARCH 10 to 12 – I am attending a workshop on the how to use the 5 Warrior Syllables.

In short, I aim to use music and sound as a method of lessening my anxiety and improving my confidence level throughout March. Whenever I feel particularly stressed, I hope to use vibration as the reset switch for my mood. If nothing else, I am learning two new sound-based techniques that I can add to my shamanic practice and Reiki repertoire.

Wish me luck. Now get out there and #domagick!