Life Lessons: A Grand Epiphany

Sofia Ajram

Image: Sofia Ajram

“I never made one of my discoveries through the process of rational thinking”

Albert Einstein

I have been an addict for as long as I can remember, since the moment my eyes made contact with paper I knew that words were going to be my chosen substance. When I was 17 I discovered one of the grandest words of all: epiphany. I didn’t know at the time how important this word was, or is, I had no idea the advice being given to me in those halls of my high school, a moment that seems like lifetimes ago.

There was a teacher who taught Economics and Latin, he was an older gentlemen who can only be compared to being “my favorite book”. He was full of stories, and tales, equally funny and tragic, the depths of that man and his intelligence knew no bounds. My senior year happened to be his last year teaching so he was freely giving away bits of coded knowledge as if asking us to pass on his legacy and let him live on; a point missed by most of the robots I went to school with. If I were to transplant Mr. B back in time, he would have been a little old man, nose stuck in a book in the halls of the library of Alexandria.

In my free time (study hall or what was known as “free period”) I would seek him out to have conversations about the Occult, or politics. He was a Catholic, most of the town was, but he was very much into hidden or forbidden areas of knowledge (which made me like him more). I mean the man spoke fluent Latin “just because”. He was a very interesting being, and I was sad to hear of his passing not too long after I graduated in 2002.

During one of my last conversations with him he told me something that seems to mean more to me the further into the Abyss I go. He said, “an epiphany will give you clarity, or insanity.”

Let that simmer in your mind for a second, for those who would like to look at the definition while allowing your thoughts to collect, here you go.

“An epiphany (from the ancient Greek ἐπιφάνεια, epiphaneia, “manifestation, striking appearance”) is an experience of sudden and striking realization.”

Read that again, “an epiphany will give you clarity, or insanity”. I mean if there were ever a time for me to use the expression “mind blown” it would have been then, like right in that very moment.

As I heard it roll off his tongue, per my usual nerdy self, I said, “That’s a fun word.” After going to look up the actual definition I tucked the word into the back of my head, and hoped that someday I would be able to experience such a moment.

Never did I expect my life to be full of these moments, some greater in magnitude than others, the number only increases as time goes by; I suppose in hindsight that I have had many grand epiphanies in my life, I just didn’t realize them at the time. That itself is a lesson to be more present, to appreciate all the moments of life.

An epiphany when you are present and aware is in a league of its own; when you are aware of a moment of enlightenment, a moment when a paradigm shift suddenly happens and it shatters everything you thought you knew, there are no words to describe such a feeling. It’s like the Universe opens a door, pushes you through and closes it behind you, forcing you to accept the change, to make the move–

Forcing your hand in this proverbial chess game that is life.

Life is so funny, I feel like each day I come closer to understanding how utterly comical this existence is and that lesson is part of the reason I am here in the flesh to begin with. I am such a serious soul, I take everything seriously; the world, people, animals, feelings of others, the “bigger picture”–everything is serious business with me and it has always been like that. I laugh with the best of them, and I often find myself to be a sarcastic asshole, but overall, I am straight faced, lost in thought, or wandering off to a quiet place so I can analyze in solitude.

In my most recent analysis it was revealed to me that major changes needed to be made, and once these changes were made abundance would come to me. I took the opportunity of the recent, powerful Full Moon and decided to make those changes effective on that date, and man, oh, man has it turned into a snowball effect of prosperity, growth and illumination.

I have become motivated again, I have sold vials and earrings, I have made all the necessary steps to be a real business owner, and the legalities are taken care of. I have also begun the ridiculous process of photographing my inventory for my online shop.

It isn’t just the tangible or business side of things, it’s personal, too. I have found a great group of friends, most of whom were standing by my side the whole time but I was too blind to see, others are newcomers who I feel were sent to me so we could grow together; so we can empower each other.

I am learning to trust friendships, and people, but most importantly I am learning to trust myself. I have let go of past regret, and accepted future mistakes.  I have learned that Divine madness and enlightenment are true partners in crime. I have learned that I can do this because I am doing this. I have learned that I am stronger than I know, and that my heart is a goddamn warrior. I have learned that my intuition is the only opinion I need to be concerned with, and haters are of abundance these days. I have learned that I am the only person I need but it’s nice to have company on this journey, and it’s ok to fall because in the fall you appreciate flight so much more.

All that really matters is I have learned and that is the grandest epiphany of all.

Awakening: The Shedding of Skin

David Ho

Image: David Ho

“For a seed to achieve its greatest expression, it must come completely undone. The shell cracks, its insides come out and everything changes. To someone who doesn’t understand growth, it would look like complete destruction.”

Cynthia Occelli

It has been an interesting week, or two weeks I should say, I have been quiet on the blog because I have been busy in the group, and my personal life. I also haven’t been feeling fantastic, needless to say I am feeling better today.

I find the timing odd because usually this close to the Full Moon I am full on lunatic, but other than some drama within the group, and the health stuff, all has been calm.

I seem to be hotter tempered than usual, reacting at any and every thing.

Yesterday everything came to the surface and I cried it out, I yelled it out, and I cursed the Universe out.

Only to give my gratitude back later for all I have been gifted with.

I took the opportunity of Mercury Retrograde and this Full Moon in fiery Aries to let stuff go, drop what no longer serves my higher self.

This means feelings, emotions, guilt….

The shit.

I am pulling up stuff from childhood, my Father wound and wounds from my past. I am dealing with it all, and facing each emotion, each pain, one by one.

It is a task much more difficult than I had originally thought, but it is necessary. I have been studying my natal chart, and trying to understand what makes me tick.

I have consulted with two of my Astrologer friends who have helped immensely, and both noted the amount of retrograde planets in my chart; one saying it is a sign that I have had many past lives.

I also discovered Neptune is in my 12th house, and Mars is in Scorpio (apparently these are big deals).

Also, my Pluto is in Libra, and this placement is known as the ones who will change the world.

Needless to say I have been quiet because I have been on a quest of my own, a journey deep into self, taking advantage of the madness and emotions for once in my life.

The cosmic energy this year, as I keep saying, is one for the record books.

It only took me until September to learn how to use the chaos to my advantage, thanks to a few amazing new people I met. I had never thought my chaotic being could be used to help me, until I realized that the chaos is my tool.

A few people in the group have mentioned feeling “out of their skin” or jumpy lately, they describe it as not feeling like themselves. In their case it is not just the cosmic energy, they are experiencing a shift in consciousness.

An awakening.

“Life is a series of little deaths out of which life always returns.”

Charles Feidelson, Jr.

People seem to have this idea that once you break free from the status quo, once you break free from the chains society has put on you, that it’s the end.

I see people stop seeking, stop searching, but they are missing the point: The breakaway is just the beginning, it is just the first of many small deaths, and rebirths you will experience on your path.

The serpent is not used as a metaphor for no reason; it is used as a metaphor for thousands of reasons.

When we shift our consciousness we are shedding our skin, we become sensitive to our environment, we go into hiding: the molting phase.

The symptoms of an awakening are endless but some of the more common ones are changes in appetite, depression/anxiety/panic out of nowhere, withdrawing from friends who hold you back, withdrawing from community/family, seeking like minds or your soul kin, a longing for “home”, mood swings, sensitivity to light and sound, frequent headaches, vertigo, tinnitus, vivid dreaming, fatigue, chronic pain syndrome, swollen glands, allergies, and just an overall feeling of “something is off”.

These symptoms are from my experience and observation, I am not a medical professional and if you experience any of these symptoms to an extreme, or long term then you need to seek medical help.

An awakening wreaks havoc on the body, and the mind, but the benefits quickly reveal themselves.

The number one question after the initial, “am I crazy?” is “where do I begin?”

My answer is always the same, there is no starting point, you just have to start.

Reading, voraciously was my start.

Your intuition will kick in, your instincts will guide you to be exactly where you need to be. There is not a mapped out path to get to center, we all reach it on our own, and in our own time. This is not a race, this is not a competition, we individually have to walk our own path, but along the way we are able to help each other.

I think too many forget, or maybe don’t understand, the personal benefits to helping another. I guess that is another post, though.

We can elevate people, as we elevate ourselves. It costs us nothing, it does not harm us to help another.

I was asked what suggestions I can give to help alleviate the symptoms, and I can only speak from my experience.

Besides reading, and making reading part of your daily routine (even if just for 15 minutes on your lunch break at work, read ancient text, or a book on something Occult/spiritual related, instead of fb); it will become a habit, and you will thank me later for the suggestion.

You will find yourself reading for 10 minutes in the bathroom in the morning, or at night instead of being on fb, or online shopping, or whatever it is that we do on our phones for hours a day.

Your mind will begin to put the pieces together, and you will feel everything, it’s like the world as a collective suddenly resonates deeply with you, and you cannot control your overwhelming need to withdraw, or the urge to burst open from the seams.

An awakening is a drug in its own league.

The next suggestion I have is crystals, I think people underestimate the power of “rocks” and the vibrations they carry.

Everything is energy, and crystals react to energy, when we find a crystal that matches our own vibrations it is a pairing of song and dance that would make Chaplin jealous.

After this the only other things I can suggest are meditation and exercise. I personally do yoga, and cardio. I do what I can do, and what I can’t, I tell myself that one day I will get there. I also suggest eating as healthy as possible, it helps to keep your vibrations high. Be aware of the people you surround yourself with, some are as toxic as the poisons in our air, and food.

The final piece of advice I can give is, be true to you.

No matter what happens, be true to YOU.

There are going to be haters, and naysayers (it means you’re doing something right).

There are going to be people doubting you, and you will lose friends, along with losing an old mentality and way of living but what you gain cannot be calculated, and that is what you need to focus on.

You need to burn in the fire of your truth.

For what it’s worth…


Image: “Daughters of the Underworld”, 2014.© Nona Limmen

“The ability to observe without evaluating is the highest form of intelligence.”

Jiddu Krishnamurti

I am not known for being an overly friendly person, I blame it on my gift of sight. Once the façade is gone, people aren’t as exciting to interact with. The reality though is that the past has taught me a lot about the things that can happen when I allow people to get too close, or too comfortable. For a long time I thought that this was a defense mechanism, but I know now it is to keep me sane. I already walk a very fine line, a line that has complete Madness on one side, and Enlightenment on the other. I don’t keep many in my circle but I love this community like family. We can relate so easily to each other because we face the same hurdles. I believe that a lot of us look “crazy” because there are many who really don’t know the truth, who refuse to see the truth, who would never believe the truth even if it slapped them in the face. The masses are threatened by anything different, but especially something as taboo as the Occult. This goes equally for Right Hand Path, Left Hand Path, Satanist’s, Atheist’s, Witches, Pagan’s, Wiccan’s and every belief system that is not “the big three”; Christianity, Judaism, and Islam.

We are judged, and ridiculed by society, and for these reasons those of us who choose to walk ‘alternative’ paths should stick together. We need to remember that at one point we knew nothing, and we also could have been viewed as naïve when it came to our personal Philosophy. Shall we not forget how fucking terrifying it is to break away from a thought process that everything in your ‘reality’ has told you to follow. I look around and see cliques of people claiming to be “this” or “that” and trying to start wars with other groups. I see people cracking jokes about where on the spectrum others fall. I see people not only using, but teaching violent rituals to serve Lucifer, Set, Baphomet, Baal, and others, thinking that this brutality is how you get the attention of a Fallen, Daemon, God, etc. They require us to be true to Self, the rest is based upon the individual. We do not need to add more stereotypes by teaching rituals that require blood sacrifice to appease these Fallen. Firstly, because blood, semen, vaginal secretions and urine should be used by an experienced practitioner only. Secondly, not everyone will be comfortable using bodily fluids, and some will not be comfortable performing a ritual at all.  That IS ok, it is ok to not practice as another does. We must follow our own path, and for the record, blood, etc. does not make them more or less willing to work with you; Bodily fluids just add potency.

We have strayed from our path, and before we can begin to fight the outside world, we must fix the problems within our own.

I think everyone needs to first and foremost have respect for their fellow human being, and we cannot go around lashing out “just because” or because they do not agree with us. Newsflash, a lot of people don’t agree with us, but we must always give respect. I could be getting screamed at by a Christian, Atheist, or even a fellow Witch but I will always maintain a level of composure because I will never give my enemy what they want; a reaction from me. The minute we stoop to the level of our opponent, or someone who is trying to engage in a debate, is the moment we hand the win over to that team. We cannot continue to react in the way that “they” think we will. Mind your manners.

Another issue I want to discuss is this whole “bursting someone’s bubble” thing. I understand that because we are on the path to Enlightenment that we sometimes feel the need, or impulse to spread truth. Why do you think I do what I do? However, we cannot go around destroying another’s illusions/delusions. That is not fair, and often it is unwarranted. We do not need to “prove” ourselves to anyone except ourselves. We must focus on the ones who are new to the path, and those who have an itch, or yearn to come over to our side. We must be willing to accept others, and help them thrive. We cannot take away free will, and like I have said before, we cannot force our beliefs on another. That makes us no better than Christians preaching to us about “Hell” and “eternally burning in fire”. We must allow people to naturally evolve and by choice come to this side.

Lastly, we need to stop judging those within our community. There are many who practice their Magick in a way that I never would, but if it works for them, more power to them. We are all individuals, and we have to be more accepting to those who do not walk the Left Hand Path. We also need to stop being so judgemental to those on a similar path to us. I think that comparing ourselves to another will surely be our own destruction. We each have a role to play, and they are all equally important. We cannot afford egos when we are facing a massive change, paradigm shift on the horizon.

I don’t know what made me write this, I started off wanting to write about something else entirely. There is a reason for everything, I suppose, so there is a reason for this, too. I don’t want to come off as trying to give others rules to live by, and I do not want to sound “preachy”. But, being who I am, I cannot help but notice the fatal flaws within our own community. I know that weaknesses in time of war can be used against us, and I do not want our inability to stand with those who are different than us be the reason we fail.

We are seekers of Truth, practitioners of the Old Ways and keepers of Knowledge. I do not care what title you wear, or whom you do or not worship. I only care that when the battle starts our soldiers are ready.